French bean : Uses, origin, Varieties, cultivation, manuring, staking, inter-culture & harvesting

Introduction:

French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is also called kidney bean, snap bean, dwarf bean or simi in Nepali. Most common leguminous vegetable in Nepal grow for tender green bean and dry beans (Rajhma).

They are used as vegetables and also in canned & frozen form. The green pods are rich in calcium, protein, phosphorus, and iron. They can be grown from Terai to High Hills in Nepal.

Origin:

They are originated from Southern Mexico & Central America primarily whereas Peruvian Equadorian – Bolivian as secondary origin.

Cultivars:

On the basis of Growth Habit:

Pole type: These varieties are tall, indeterminate in growth and require support.

Bush type: Plants are dwarf and bushy in the growth habit. Short duration & easy to harvest.

Varieties:

Major cultivated varieties in Nepal are:

Trishuli;

Jhange Simi 1;

Mandir

According to growth habit:

Pole type: Kentueky wonder (Ghiu simi), Pusa Himalata, Lakshmi, SVM-1

Bush type: Contender, Giant stringless, Charles favourite, Pusa parbati, Arka komal, Jampa, Premier, Pant bean-2, Pant Anupama.

Cultivation technique:

Soil & Climate:

For early crop, sandy loam is preferred whereas for mid-season & late season crop, clay loam soil is better. Optimum pH range is 5.5-6.0. It requires warm climate which can be grown in all season except freezing cold season. Optimum temperature is 15-21 degree Celsius.

Field Preparation:

2-3times ploughing and levelling is needed for good crop growth. For pole types, a double row system of raised bed of 120cm wide is prepared and there should be a 30 cm path between 2 beds. For bush types, single ridges or no ridges are prepared.

Manures & Fertilizers:

Though being leguminous crop, it responds well to application of nitrogen. About 25-30 ton of FYM is mixed with the soil at the time of final land preparation. Application of 80 : 120 : 60 kg NPK/ha is recommended with nitrogen as basal application at full dose.

Planting Time:

Geographical Regions Sowing Time Harvesting
High Hills March-April June-August
Mid Hills February-April April-August
July-August September-November
Terai July-August September-November

Spacing & Seed Rate:

Spacing & seed rate for pole and bush type are different.

Spacing:

Bush type: 70 cm * 30 cm

Pole type: 120 cm * 50 cm

Seed rate:

Bush type: 65-80 kg/ha

Pole type: 25-30 kg/ha

Seed Treatment:

As beans are capable for nitrogen fixing, it is advisable to inoculate the seed with N fixing bacteria before sowing. This helps in quick nodulation through Rhizobium phaseoli which fix atmospheric nitrogen.

Staking:

Pole type varieties need staking for support. Stakes must be at least 2m tall above ground level. Bush type do not need staking.

Irrigation:

Bean is planted in sufficient moisture conditions. First irrigation is essential at pre-flowering stage & second at pod formation. Light irrigation is essential at 10-15 days interval as per need of crop.

Inter-culture & Weed Control:

Two hoeing are sufficient to keep the field free from weeds. Root injury should be avoided during the operations.

Similarly, weed can also be controlled with the pre-plant application of Fluchloralin @ 0.5kg/ha and pre-emergence application of Alachlor @ 1.5kg/ha or Nitrofen @ 3kg/ha.

Harvesting:

For vegetable purpose the pods are picked when they are tender, immature, and non-fibrous. Bush type are ready for green pod harvesting at 45-60 days and harvesting continue for several pickings (3-4) at an interval of week.

Pole type matures slightly later than bush type. They are ready at 60-70 days after seed sowing. Several pickings are done in 1-week interval (6-8 pickings).

For grain purpose, bush types become ready in about 80-90 days whereas pole types are usually harvested in 90-100 days.

Yield:

Yield of green pods vary from 4-6 ton/ha and grain 6-8 quintal/ha in bush type. Similarly, 8-10 ton/ha of green pods and 12-14 quintal/ha grain or seed is obtained from pole type cultivars.

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