'Seeing is believing' says runner bean king Brian
MR BEAN is back! No, not that one but Braunton's own runner bean king, Brian Norman. Far from being the bungling disaster of TV and film fame, Brian has done what few bean growers do and sowed for a late, late crop.
Astonishingly, the 40 Lady Di runners Brian, 77, sowed in the last week of July produced more flowers than those that went under the soil at the conventional time of early summer.
"Seeing is believing," said Brian, who picked his first six eight-inch long pods on October 1.
"I've been growing beans for many years and I have never seen as many flowers as I've had on my second lot."
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Brian, featured here in September for his DIY skills and bean bonanza, grows the equivalent of a 9ft row of runners in plastic troughs surrounded by 6ft bamboos in specially constructed frames. All are in the open air, so he is pinning his hopes on a mild and calm autumn to enable him to pick, pick, pick.
Nipping out the top shoots and feeding his plants with chicken manure pellets and fish, bone and bonemeal should speed up growth.
"The weather has been perfect for beans," added Brian. "They are loving it."