The fisole has many names, it is commonly known as the garden bean(Phaseolus vulgaris L), but is also called the green bean or string bean. Many Austrians grow them in their own gardens.

Depending on the growth habit, the bush bean(Phaseolus vulgaris var. nanus) is distinguished from the pole bean(Phaseolus vulgaris var. vulgaris). Numerous varieties and forms have been cultivated. Their legumes can range from yellow to green to red/purple striped to all blackish purple, and the seeds/beans they contain are even more varied in shape and color.


In the kitchen, the round, sometimes elongated or kidney-shaped seeds are used, as well as the surrounding pod with the enclosed seeds (green beans, runner beans, princess beans). There are numerous ways to prepare them: cooked with butter or as a side dish, in soups, salads or stews. Before consumption, green beans must be cooked to render the toxic phasin harmless.

Among other things, green beans contain folic acid, vitamin C and magnesium.


The fisole originates from Central and South America. It is an annual and grows, depending on the form of growth, with an erect to bent, branched stem 20 to 100 cm high (bush bean) or with a branched, usually left-winding stem up to 4 m high (pole bean). The short, upright flower clusters consist of two to twelve, more rarely 20 white, yellowish-greenish, or pink to violet so-called butterfly flowers.

The fisole is a self-fertilizer, especially under long-day conditions. Land day conditions means that the fisoles only bloom when a certain exposure time is exceeded (maximum 12 hours of darkness per day). Nevertheless, there is a small amount of cross-pollination. The plant flowers from the bottom up in 20 to 26 days. The straight or curved legume, 4 to 30 cm long, that develops from the fertilized flowers contains two to nine unicolored or marked seeds of all possible colors.

Agricultural aspects

According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management, the current area under common bean cultivation in Austria is around 537 hectares. The runner bean grows mainly in areas with favorable temperatures, such as southern Styria, Burgenland and the Weinviertel region. Bush beans can also be grown at higher altitudes due to their shorter vegetation period.

For germination, runner beans require a soil temperature of at least 8 to 10 degrees Celsius. French beans are adapted to various climatic and ecological conditions. They thrive best at average temperatures of 18 to 30 degrees Celsius during the growing season, with precipitation distributed as evenly as possible and relatively cool nights below 20 degrees Celsius. Since they are very sensitive to frost, they prefer warm, sunny locations sheltered from the wind. A medium-heavy (sandy-loamy), loose as well as humus-rich soil gives the best yields. The plants should be supplied with water evenly. There is an increased need for water during the flowering phase. Drying out should be avoided at all costs, otherwise the fruits will be dropped prematurely.

Runner beans generally have a longer growing season and therefore take longer to harvest than bush beans. Also, the soil for pole beans should be deep and loose; heavy soils are less suitable for them. Bush beans thrive in almost all soil types, but prefer humusy, medium-heavy soils with a high percentage of plant-available water. Freshly turned meadows and heavily or freshly fertilized areas are unsuitable for cultivation.

Seed is sown at 2-4 cm soil depth as single grains spaced 6 to 8 cm apart in a row or as a cluster seed with five to seven grains per planting site. After about two weeks, the plantlets germinate and are relatively undemanding during growth, additional watering is necessary only in case of high drought and more so for pole beans. As far as fertilization is concerned, there should be no pure nitrogen fertilization, as beans are one of the weakly nutritious vegetables, but they do need additional potash.

Beans grown in Europe are day-neutral, which means that their flowering is independent of the duration of daylight, so again there are early, medium-early and late varieties. As for bush beans, the growth period lasts from 60 to 90 days, depending on the maturity group. In the case of early varieties, the garden beans can be picked after 55 to 60 days, and in the case of medium-early ones, after 70 to 75 days. They are harvested when the seeds are about the size of a lentil, the pod breaks smoothly when bent and is juicy at the break. Dry beans are harvested when the seeds are fully mature and dry, which is best indicated by a dry pod. In the case of bush beans, this can happen as early as August, while pole beans can usually be harvested in mid-September.

Last updated: 01.09.2023

automatically translated