Runner beans

Runner beans

Prepare your soil in winter or early spring. Dig a trench 18” wide and fork in compost before replacing soil. Apply a general fertiliser before sowing, and a liquid tomato food occasionally during the cropping season.

Sowing

Sow outdoor direct into soil

Sowing time

May, or in modules in the greenhouse during March.

 

Crop care

Before planting young runner beans out, wait until the chance of a frost has passed. Use 8ft supporting canes, poles or netting, and tie the young plants loosely to the supports so that they can climb naturally. Protect them from slugs, hoe regularly and water well in dry weather. Mulching will help to conserve moisture. Pinch off the growing points when the plants reach top of the growing supports.

Harvesting

Pick your runner beans regularly once the pods have reached a decent size 6-8”, but before the beans inside have started to swell. If you remove the pods at this stage, you should be able to continue harvesting for at least 8 weeks.