Pros: easy to grow, plentiful harvest, delicious gourmet taste, nice looking slender bean
Cons: a bit more money than some other bean varieties
Each year, I enjoy growing beans in my garden. Nothing like the taste of fresh beans! This year I couldn't resist trying a gourmet "European" filet green bean. Am I glad that I bought Maxibel Green Bean seed.
What is a "European" or French Stringless Filet Bean?
Filet beans are a slimmer, thinner bean. It also has more flavor that a traditional bean. Older varieties of filet beans have had the string in them. Improvements have eliminated the string, and this Maxibel bean is of the stringless variety.
In case you are not familiar with a string-style bean. Before cooking or eating the bean, the end needs to be snapped off, and pulling gently along the side of the bean, the string is removed. Stringless beans do not have this string, a time-saving feature.
The Maxibel variety grows 7" long and takes 50-59 days to mature. Filet beans are usually shorter than regular beans, however, the Maxibel is a full-length bean.
No matter the variety, I plant bean seed directly into my organic vegetable garden as soon as the soil is warm enough. There are several ways to plant bean seed, but I prefer gouging a trench into the soil. The end of a garden rake or a stick works fine. Bean seed is large and very easy to see once it is placed in the soil. The seed should be planted 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep and about 2" apart. I place my rows 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart. My rows are short with a path along each side for easy picking. These Maxibel bean plants grow like bush beans and do not need a trellis.
Buying Maxibel seed from one of my usual seed sources, I noticed that not as much seed comes in a packet as compared to regular bush bean seed. However, germination for the Maxibel was excellent ... even when some other bean varieties I usually can rely on did not produce many plants. (This has been a challenging growing season in New England between too much rain, cooler than normal weather, and even the tomato/potato blight.)
Keep the bean rows watered until they begin to sprout. I find beans grow well in a sunny location, and sun is recommended for the Maxibel along with moist well-drained soil. What I love about beans is that they tolerate drier conditions some other vegetables. So I feel comfortable letting the plants go a few days without water.
If you have grown bean plants before, you may have noticed that some insects enjoy munching the bean plant leaves. In the past, I have had bean leaves look as though they were made from lace from the amount of bug feasting. One way around destroyed plants, is that I grow Purple Beans (also excellent!). The Maxibel bean leaves had a few nibbles, but the plants look great.
These Maxibel bean plants are heavy producers, too. I am able to pick many times from the same plants. The green beans grow long and for the most part straight (occasionally one will curl). The beans are also slimmer than a pencil and tender tasting. The flavor is fantastic!
Purchasing the Seed
This seed comes from Park Seed. This year they are selling a packet of 100 seeds for $2.25.
Our family has enjoyed these Maxibel Beans so much that we have already decided they are a must-buy for next year. Easy to grow, the plants produce lots of beans, and the beans are slim and delicious!
I hope you found this review useful.
Enjoy the day,
Please read my other reviews:
Bean Seed: Purple Beans, Soleil Yellow Beans
Seeds: Ace Red & Green Peppers, Small Sugar Pumpkin, Matina Tomato
Squash Seed: Black Zucchini, Gadzukes Zucchini, Zucchini Italiano Largo, Zephyr Squash
Radish: Cherriette, French Breakfast
Cucumber Seed: Marketmore Cucumber, Spacemaster Cucumber
Other Plants: Canada Red Rhubarb, Egyptian Walking Onions, Jerusalem Artichokes
Black & Decker Cordless Battery Mulching Lawnmower
Copyright 2009 Dawn L. Stewart