Growing Runner Beans – How to Grow Runner Beans

United Kingdom Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow Indoors
Sow Outdoors
Plant
Harvest

A very easy vegetable to grow and even a small amount of plants will give you a bountiful harvest.

VARIETIES

PAINTED LADY
Bicoloured variety red-and-white flowers. Produces a heavy crop of medium length pods over a long season if picked regularly. The perfect choice for the flower garden where it complements climbing plants such as sweet peas.

FIRESTORM
Masses of self-pollinating flowers, so prolific cropping even in poor weather! An innovative red flowered variety from a cross between a runner bean and French bean. Sets huge quantities of high quality 25cm (10″) long stringless pods of exceptional flavour. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner.

 

 

SOWING

My last frost date is mid-May so I sow my seeds in the greenhouse a month before, usually the first week in April. Seeds should germinate within 10 days.

PLANTING

Distance between plants 9in, distance between rows 18in. They will need a structure to climb up. There are many methods such as a wigwam but the traditional is a double row of bamboo canes.

When transplanting, place the plant on the inside of the cane to make it easier for it to climb. You may need to loosely tie the stems to the cane using twine.

Companion Planting

They like to be grown with Sweet Peas but dislike being close to Onions, Garlic, Fennel and Gladiolus.

Crop Rotation

They belong to the Roots & Onion family, they should be planted in a bed which previously had Potatoes. The next crop in this space should be Legumes (eg: Peas, Beans).

Seasonal Care & Related Posts

Keep well watered and weed free. Blackfly may become a problem – an organic method is to use soapy water and spray it onto the blackfly.

PESTS, DISEASES AND PROBLEMS

Slugs
Snails
Blackfly

Harvesting

When the beans are around 8in long, harvest by holding the main plant/cane and pull the pod. Be careful not to damage the main plant when doing so.

Saving seed for next year

At the end of the season, leave a few pods to develop. When the pods feel papery, pick from the plant and remove the beans from the pod. Dry them by placing on a tray for a few days. Store in glass jars and use within a year.

How to Store

I tend to freeze my runner beans and use them throughout the Winter and early Spring.

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    About the Author: Sean James Cameron

    Based in London, Sean has been gardening since being a teenager. Although vegetables and fruit is the main passion, there is also room for flowers.

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