This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol4", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
This was introduced from South America, and is now extensively grown all over the civilized world. As a rule, the seeds are sown too thickly, with the result that the crop suffers. By sowing in drills 2 ft. apart, with the plants 1 ft. from each other, about 14,000 plants would go to the acre. Taking the average yield of pods from each as weighing 1/2 lb. this would give 7000 lb. to the acre. As a matter of fact, as much as 10,000 to 12,000 lb. per acre may be obtained by a little extra attention to hoeing between the plants. Early supplies will realize from 3d. to 6d. per pound, but later on in the season perhaps only \d. or Id. at the most can be secured. Where a grower has a supply of bell glasses or cloches at his disposal he might utilize them to good advantage to bring on the plants to earlier maturity, and thus secure the higher prices. [J. W].
Fig. 462. - Kidney Bean - Sutton's Perfection.
French or Kidney Beans may be claimed without question as a market-garden crop. Sowings are made in succession from early May to July in rows 2 ft. apart. Several sorts are favoured - the Early Dun (for first sowing), the Canadian Wonder, the Negro, and the Butter Bean. The latter is a distinct variety, only lately taken up by growers in this country. Its peculiarity is yellow pods, which are not sliced up for cooking, but are cooked and served up whole.
In all varieties of French Beans the utmost watchfulness must be exercised to gather them while young; a few poddy, stringy ones will condemn a whole parcel and get the grower a bad name, from which he will find it hard to emancipate himself for the remainder of the season, [w. G. L].