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A giant among green beans.

Big green beans can be every bit as delicious as smaller haricots verts, the lean French beans described on pages 92 and 93 of last month's Sunset. Considers 'Jumbo', pictured above for comparison with pods of the slender French variety 'Fin de Bagnols'.

'Jumbo' pods can grow to 12 inches long and 1 inch wide and still be crisp and tender. But the trick is not to let them reach that size. Young beans of any variety taste better than older ones, and a half-grown 'Jumbo' pod 6 inches long will be in prime condition, even though it's still larger than a fully mature pod of some other variety.

A dozen broad, 6-inch-long pods are a generous serving for one person. Offspring of 'Romano' and 'Kentucky Wonder', two of the most delicious beans grown, 'Jumbo' has an intense flavor.

Plants are as robust as the beans they produce. Although not considered climbers, they produce long stems that tend to lean or fall over under the weight of the big pods and heavy foliage; a light support system will keep pods out of the dirt and away from snails and slugs. Set stakes about a foot apart with strings stretched between them 18 inches above the ground. A structure of lightweight poles or lath will also work.

'Jumbo' yields heavily over a long period if beans are picked before they reach maturity. Any not used fresh can be forzen; quality of the frozen product is exceptionally high.

If you can't find seeds of 'Jumbo' on nursery racks, you can order them through mail-order catalogs. Plant seeds as soon as soil is warm, in full sun and good soil. To shelter emerging seedlings from birds, which like to nip out the growing points, stretch net or wire mesh above rows on short stakes. Remove before plants get tangled in it.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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