THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTIVAR IN EXTENDING THE FRENCH BEAN HARVESTING SEASON

M. Prendiville, J.C. Cassidy
One of the major developments in the Irish horticultural field crop industry in recent years has been the rapid increase in the acreage of French ordwarf beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) grown for processing. With the introduction of reasonably efficient mechanical harvesters and reliable chemicals for weed control, this crop has progresses from the market garden to large field scale production. These changes in production and harvesting methods have created a need, not alone for uniformly maturing cultivars which will produce the maximum possible yield at one harvest, but also for cultivars that differ in rate of maturity. French beans require soil temperatures in excess of 10°C at sowing to permit satisfactory germination and emergence and this, along with the risk of late spring frosts, constitute a major restriction on varying the time of sowing of any particular cultivar to give an extended harvesting-season. For this reason the availability of cultivars that require either a short or long period to reach maturity is of particular importance. This aspect was one of many studied in a series of cultivar screening trials under Irish conditions over the period 1964–'68 and the data given in this paper summarize the main results of this investigation.

One of the first essentials in maturity studies on any crop is the establishment of a reliable method of assessing this characteristic which is independent of cultivar, location or season. Assessment of maturity in French beans has received considerable attention by many research workers (1, 2, 3, 4) and a number of criteria of maturity have been suggested. These include such tests as alcohol insoluble solids percent (A.I.S.), dry matter percent, seed percent and seed length. For the purposes of the investigations reported in this paper the A.I.S. method (5) was used throughout.

Prendiville, M. and Cassidy, J.C. (1973). THE IMPORTANCE OF CULTIVAR IN EXTENDING THE FRENCH BEAN HARVESTING SEASON. Acta Hortic. 27, 50-54
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.27.4
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1973.27.4

Acta Horticulturae