Today we have been planting runner beans in the garden. Here is a guide for growing your own runner beans.
Runner beans are great! If you look after them, you will be able to harvest an abundance of beans throughout the summer. They are pretty easy for beginners too!
How to plant and grow runner beans
We planted our seeds in the greenhouse and have recently been hardening them off in a cold frame. Hardening a plant, means that you are getting it used to life outside. You do this gradually so the little plant you have nurtured won’t get too much of a nasty shock when the weather feels colder! They are sensitive little plants so be sure to only plant them out after the last frost of the year is expected.
When your plants are ready to go out, make sure you water them about an hour before. In the meantime you need to build your bean plants some support, they do grow quite tall!
Build a Support for your Runner Beans
Using some canes to build a wigwam or a line of canes tied as we have done here.
Plant your bean plants at the base of each cane with the root ball level with the soil and gently firm the soil around it. Give the plant some more water.
Don’t worry about tying the plant to the cane as it will find it’s way, you can always give it a little encouragement as it grows by helping the plant twist around the cane.
The bean plant will bloom with some beautiful little flowers, each of these will become a runner bean, just make sure you harvest them regularly, so that the plant continues to work hard throughout the summer producing more beans and that the beans are tender and not stringy.
Planting Runner Beans FAQ:
You can plant your seeds indoors in the spring usually around late April. The plants can be planted out after the risk of frost has passed usually in late May or early June.
Yes, runner beans can grow in pots, provided they have a support system to climb up.
As often as possible, this helps to encourage the plant to produce more beans. Also, smaller beans are less stringy and more tender to eat.
Plant the seed on its side (not flat) to help prevent the seed from rotting. Each seed has a little scar or mark on one side, which you face down (this is where the root grows from) However, the plant will correct itself even if you forget this and the root will still find the correct way to face.