mini gardeners

inspiring gardening projects for children

Rainbow Beans


rainbow beansThis year we’ve been growing dwarf beans instead of the usual climbing beans.

The main reason for the switch is that dwarf beans are lower maintenance; there’s no need to build a wigwam to support the plants or to keep tying them in as they grow. And although the plants only grow to around 40cm tall, the yield from each plant is surprisingly high and small children can help with the harvesting. They must be one of the easiest, pest and disease free vegetables to grow (apart from the blackfly earlier in the year but we sent them packing with a dilute spray of washing up liquid).

I picked up the seeds at the Chelsea Flower Show, from Pennard Plants, who specialise in heritage and heirloom seeds.  The packet was described as ‘Dazzling Dwarf Mix’ and as well as producing plants with purple, green or yellow beans, there are some dwarf borlotti beans and runner beans too.

And if that isn’t enough to convince you to give them a try, the purple beans have the added bonus of their very own magic trick – they turn green when cooked.


4 thoughts on “Rainbow Beans

  1. They look delicious and the easier to grow the better!

  2. We got ours from you at your stall at the NCT event in Dorney, and the kids have loved and nurtured them. The appearance of beans was a source of immense excitement, but I don’t think they’re ready to harvest yet, still feel a bit hard – though the leaves have started to go all yellow?

    • Hi Alison, thanks so much for getting in touch – I’m always keen to hear how plants have progressed and it sounds like yours are doing well. We usually start harvesting when the beans have reached adult finger length (not very scientific I know) and before the beans start to swell inside – so yours may well be ready. The yellowing leaves are difficult to diagnose without a photo but I’m wondering if the bean plants might benefit from a dose of plant food, if you have some to hand.

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