Heirloom Vegetable. A hardy variety that’s been around since at least the very early 1800’s that grows to 45 cm (18″) tall and is an one of the best varieties of dried beans for baking, stews or soups. It is interesting to note that the slender white seeds have a characteristic “soldier” shape in dark maroon, hence giving this plant its common name.
How to Grow
4-5 seed/gram Beans tolerate a wide range of soil types. Their best growth is in light, organic, well drained soil with a pH of about 6.5. Beans have a distinct dislike for cold, wet soils, so sow seed only after the soil has warmed to at least 16 C (60 F). Sow 2.5 cm (1″) deep and 8 cm (3″) apart in rows spaced 45 to 70 cm (18 to 28″) apart. To ensure a continuous harvest, sow bush-type varieties every 10 days until mid-July. Keep beans evenly watered, particularly when the plants are in flower and when production of the pods start. Avoid the use of high nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen promotes excessive foliage. Avoid disturbing beans when leaves are damp to reduce the incidence of disease. Harvest soldier beans only when the pods have dried completely and become very brittle. Store the shelled beans in an air tight container in a cool place.