Runner beans

Runner beans

Prepare the soil in winter or early spring. Dig a trench 18” wide and fork in compost before replacing the soil. Apply a general organic fertiliser 7-10 days before sowing (eg poultry pellets, fish blood and bone), and add some liquid feed occasionally during the cropping season.

Sowing time

Sow in May

Crop Care

Use 8ft supporting canes, poles or netting. Loosely tie young plants to the supports, so they can climb naturally, and protect them from slugs. Hoe regularly and water well in dry weather – mulching will help to conserve moisture. When plants reach the top of the growing supports, remove the growing points.

Harvesting

Pick 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 as soon as they reach this stage, you should be able to continue harvesting for at least 8 weeks. After harvesting, cut off the stems at soil level. Leave the roots in the ground to release nitrogen into the soil – great for your next crop!