Our own beans are going to be harvested at the end of July (assuming there is no late-game assault from slugs) and many of you are going to be in a similar position.

If your beans are behind ours – particularly those of you in colder parts of the UK where it took longer for them to get going – don’t worry, there i no need for everyone to harvest at exactly the same time, just at the same point of the experiment.

Now, there has been a slight change to the methods (described by email too), but to repeat:


All three experimental plants should be harvested ten weeks after flowering started.

The recording sheet says ‘approx. 16 weeks after planting’ (which, for us, is the same thing) but as there has been quite a lot of variation in the time that the beans actually started flowering, we’re going to go from the point the actual experiment started, rather than the start of preparation. The choice of ten weeks after flowering is to allow everyone's plants the extra time some might have needed to get to the flowering stage, although the duration of flowering will be fairly similar.

Some of you were further ahead than us anyway, so if you have already reached this stage, then harvest when you can! There is a section for dates, numbers and weights on the recording form.

What to count

Some of the beans on your plants are obviously decent-sized pods, but some of them might have formed small pods that went black or shriveled without getting much larger. There are lots of things that can cause this (including, as far as we can tell, random chance!), but if you could make a note of these pods separately to the main count, that will be the most useful to us.

The recording forms linked to or downloadable from this website will be altered slightly to make this clearer, but you can just write the additional bits on the paper copy as well. We apologise for the need to make changes to the documents at this stage, but as this is the first year we have run the project, your feedback and suggestions are particularly important!