Growing long beans

An appropriate name - the "snake bean"

The long bean has quite a number of interesting names. Here in Singapore, we also call it by it’s Malay name, kachang panjang, but it’s also known as the snake bean, yardlong bean, dau gok in Cantonese, jiang dou in Mandarin, and the “chopstick bean” in Vietnamese.

Sidenote: I wonder about the “yard long” term, because it’s barely half that length. Whoever came up with that name must have enjoyed exaggerating a lot! Anyway we probably dropped the “yard” from the name because we use the metric system here… :P

Long beans are a good source of protein, vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus and potassium. They are an even better source for vitamin C, folate, magnesium and manganese. They can be eaten raw (best when they’re slim and young) or cooked. Yum!

Here’s my journey growing long beans:

Set up your trellis.

Sow seeds directly and wait about 3 days for sprouts to appear.

The plants will wind their way up your trellis and keep searching for more place to grow when they reach the top. Remember to fertilize regularly to give them all the help they need.

Flowers form between 6 to 7 weeks from sowing ... and the ants start going nuts.

It takes the flowers a day or two to open.

The day after the flower opens, the petals will dry up and drop off, leaving a tiny bean behind.

Beans will take about a week to mature. Harvest before they get too wrinkled and knobbly.

They can range from 30 to almost 50 cm.

The long bean attempt has been a success! :D

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