French bean is one of the most important leguminous vegetable crops of North eastern region. It is cultivated for the tender vegetable, shelled green beans and dry beans (rajmah). It is very rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. French bean is a short duration crop and farmers get more profit in a short period. In this region, it is cultivated in rice fallow during spring summer and on hill slopes during autumn winter season. It has possibility to be grown round the year in this region where irrigation facilities are available during dry period.
Varieties and Hybrids
The French bean varieties are classified in two group’s viz. Dwarf or bush types and Climbing or pole types. The varieties found suitable for this region are as follows.
Dwarf types- Contender, Pusa Parwati, Pant Anupama, Arka Komal, Selection-S Climbing types- Kentucky Wonder, RCMFB-l.
Other high yielding varieties grown in India are HUR 15, HUR-137, Amber and Arun. Also Arka Komal, Arka Suvidha, Pusa Parvathi, Pusa Himalatha, VL Boni 1, Ooty 1
Soil and climate
French bean is grown during winter in plains, while it can be grown round the year except winter in hilly regions. Although it can be grown on all types of soil, but loams and clay loams are best for obtaining high yield. The soil and climatic conditions of this region is highly suitable for cultivation of French bean.
For preparation of field, soil is ploughed 2-3 times with power tiller or with spade. Planking is done during the last ploughing to make friable soil bed for sowing.
About 50-75 kg/ha would be required for dwarf bean, whereas for pole type the seed rate is about 25 kg/ha.
French bean can be sown twice a year, in January-February and July-September in the plains and March to June in the hills. Sowing and spacing Dwarf or bush types are sown with the spacing of row-to-row 40-50 cm and plant-toPlant spacing of 10 cm while pole type, at 60-65 cm x 10-12 cm. The seed should be sown at 2- 3 cm depth in soil.
Manures and fertilizer
FYM or compost @ 30 t/ha and NPK @ 60: 120:50 is incorporated in the soil during soil preparation. Half dose of nitrogen and full dose of phosphorus and potash are applied at the time of sowing and remaining half dose of nitrogen should be applied after one month of sowing.
Staking Pole type cultivars of French bean grow well on support made of cane frames. They are also supported by erecting wooden poles connected with strings.
Initial growth period is crucial for crop growth. Avoid weed infestation at this stage. Complete weeding operations synchronized along with fertilizer and irrigation operations. Use Fluchloralin@ 800ml/acre or Pendimethalin@1ltr per acre as pre-emergence weedicide
For better germination of seed give pre-sowing irrigation. 6-7 irrigations are required during growing season. Irrigation on 25th day after sowing and three irrigation at 25 days interval are necessary to get optimum yield. Give irrigation prior to blooming, during flowering and at pod development stage, water stress at these stage will lead to yield loss.
Harvesting and yield
Pods are harvested when they attain full size and are crisp. Harvest when pods are full grown and ripe and there color turn to yellow. Also leaves turn yellow and majority of leaves drop. Depending upon variety use pods are ready to harvest 7-12 days after flowering. Overall crop is ready to harvest in 120-130 days. Do harvesting at right time as delay cause shattering. Keep harvested plant for three-four days in sun. After proper drying of crop, threshing is done with help of bullocks or with sticks.
A yield of 10-20 tons/ha can be obtained from a good crop.