BLAUHILDE FRENCH BEAN
Blauhilde produces deep purple pods which are far longer than your average French bean. This bean variety dates back a long way and is believed to be German in origin.
Some say that the purple bean colour is useful at harvest time because it lets you see clearly where the beans are. Well, I've never had a problem harvesting French beans but certainly the purple pods and purple flowers make this a very attractive variety.
APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF BLAUHILDE FRENCH BEAN
This is a climbing French bean which will grow to 2.5m easily so it needs support as soon as the seedlings appear above the surface. The pods are a deep purple with green flesh inside and they turn to green when they are cooked. Each pod is unusually long at 25cm / 10in and stringless even when left to over ripen.
They start to crop in the fourth week of July in average UK areas and often continue into September, yields are high especially so if you harvest the beans when they are young. We have found them to be strong growing plants with no disease problems.
POSITIVE POINTS FOR BLAUHILDE
Attractive purple colour when young, strong growing plants producing stringless beans even when allowed to grow to full size.
NEGATIVE POINTS FOR BLAUHILDE
None that we know of.
The planting and harvest dates used below are correct for the UK average. If you want them to be even more accurate and adjusted for your area of the UK click here. It only takes a minute and the adjustment affects every date in this site and lasts for six months.
WHEN TO SOW BLAUHILDE FRENCH BEANS
This is a mid-season climbing variety of French Bean. The key factor governing the time for sowing all French Beans is the date of the last frost in your area. Even a touch of frost can damage these plants if their foliage is above ground, an unexpected severe frost can kill them completely.
The date for sowing Blauhilde seed can be calculated on the basis that plants will take ten days before they appear above ground. Given also that you want them to appear above ground only when the danger of frost has fully passed and the ground has warmed up the third week of May 2015 (UK average) is about right time to plant them. Sow the seed a week or two earlier under cloches for an early crop.
WHEN TO HARVEST BLAUHILDE FRENCH BEANS
The harvest date for French Beans is not only dependent on when you sow the seeds, it also depends on the weather conditions throughout the growing season. But on average you can expect your beans to begin to be ready for harvest some time around the fourth week of July in average UK areas. This date can be considerably earlier if you sow seed indoors or sow the seeds under cloche protection. Click here for more details.
BUYING BLAUHILDE FRENCH BEAN SEEDS IN THE UK
These are not one of the commonest varieties and you are unlikely to find them for sale in garden centres. A few online seed merchants do sell them however. The cheapest reputable supplier we could find was Thompson & Morgan.
We recommend buying your seeds from certified suppliers. We would avoid buying them from online general retailers such as as Amazon or E-bay unless you know exactly who is supplying the seed.
USE: Lightly boiled in salads or as a vegetable
TYPE: Mid-season climbing
SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Purple turning green when cooked. Tender and tasty
STORAGE: Keeps in the fridge for five days or so, but tastes best if eaten fresh or within 24 hours. Freezes well
POD SIZE: Longer than average at 25cm / 10in
REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Very regular
SPECIAL FEATURES: None