Greener BeeGreen TipsFull of beans: Alan Titchmarsh on planting green beans

Alan’s front runners

Climbing French

Sultana – long, dark, green and tender beans with stringless, cylindrical pods.

Cobra – slim, pencil-shaped pods. The mauve flowers make this an attractive variety for growing in containers or up trellises.

Hunter – an old favourite with wide, flat, stringless beans. It is a heavy cropper and good for growing under cover.

Dwarf French

Delinel – slim, pencil-shaped beans with outstanding flavour and heavy crops. It has the RHS Award of Garden Merit. 

Sonesta – a heavy cropping but compact variety with yellow beans. It’s good grown under cover.

Purple tepee – purple, cylindrical beans that are easy to pick.


Enorma – a superb exhibition variety that produces very long, straight beans that make for very good eating.

Red Rum – an early cropper that is good in poor summers as it is tolerant to halo blight, a disease brought on by damp.

Painted lady – another old favourite that is good for trellises and tubs and gives a fair crop. 

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