||Robust and energetic climbing plant (up to 3m) that produces green
foliage, vivid flowers and long runner bean pods
||White Lady AGM and White Apollo AGM
||Runner bean plants were brought to the UK from central America
and Mexico in the 17th century as ornamental exotics and only later
were they used as vegetables.
||Good source of vitamin C, folic acid (vitamin B) and fibre
|When to grow:
indoors between mid-spring to late spring; plant out at the bottom
of upright canes in early summer once the danger of late spring frosts
||Warm and sheltered positions; well-rotted organic matter and fertiliser
feed into the soil before planting; regular watering
and weeding; plant support systems or stout cane sticks about 15cm apart to support their
long twining stems that just love to hoist themselves upwards
snails and mice.
|Watch out for:
||Any sign of pests, i.e. chewed stems or uprooted seeds
||From early summer; pick when small, before any swelling of seeds
and snap off the plant
||Boil or steam; use as an accompaniment to many hot meals or simply
leave to cool or salads
||Easy to grow, they give good reliable harvests. The
flowers are colourful usually red or white and attract lots of bees.
They will continue flowering and producing beans up until the first
can be sown outdoors in late May; or grown in pots
ready to be planted outside in June. Do not try to sow too early outside.
The temperature of the soil must be at least 10°C/50°F before
the seeds will germinate.
||Plants grown inside will quickly need support for their stems. When
planting outside, set out plants 15cm (6”) apart. Use an obelisk
or a frame
for support and we recommend a Cone
Obelisk, Steel Pyramid Obelisk or Slot and Lock Pea and Bean Support. Loosely tie the young plants into the
supports. After this, the beans will climb naturally and will not
need tying in.
||The soil needs to be fertile and moist. It should not be acidic.
Digging lots of compost or well rotted manure into the soil before
planting helps. Runner beans put down deep roots. Use a thick
mulch around the plants. This will help keep the moisture in the
soil. In dry weather water frequently.
||Protect the young plants from slugs and rabbits. They will eat them!
biological pest control to protect against slugs and rabbit
wire around your growing area to fend off our furry friends. Nemaslug
contains nematodes that are tiny microbes which have to be watered
into the soil and attack the young slugs as they grow.
||Pick the beans frequently. Pods should be picked before the beans
inside have begun to swell. The more pods you pick, the more the plants
will produce. Picking will be needed every two or three days.
||At the end of the season, cut off the stems and place in the compost
bin. Dig the roots and stem bases into the soil so that the nitrogen
they have gathered is released.