Runner Beans

Grow Lots of Runner Beans With My Step-By-Step Guide

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If you want to grow something truly productive, then give runner beans a try. When grown correctly, you will be picking pods all summer long.

Variety

Most runner beans are going to grow tall, but dwarf varities are available
Most runner beans are going to grow tall, but dwarf varieties are available.

Most runner beans will grow tall, but some bush varieties are available that are suitable for growing in pots.

If birds are a problem in your garden then try white-flowered varieties as these seem to interest the birds less.

Here are some recommendations:

Sowing

Runner Bean Seeds
Runner Bean Seeds

You can start seeds off in early spring indoors or under cover in a greenhouse.

They are large seeds, so they cant be sown into tiny modules. I like to use a large root trainer, link below.

Some people will start them in old toilet roll tubes.

Mulching

Manure
Manure

Runner beans are ravenous plants.

Because of this, lots of people like to dig in the area where they are going to grow.

I don’t do this, one because I don’t have a ready supply of manure, and one because I have found my plants don’t need it.

Instead, I like to mulch them with homemade compost in summer as they are growing.

This has the added benefit of helping to keep the moisture in. More on that later.

Feeding

Liquid feed out of a watering can.
Liquid feed out of a watering can.

As I mentioned earlier, runner beans are hungry plants.

Because of this, you are well advised to feed them regularly if you want to maximise your harvest.

I like to use a general organic feed that you dilute in your watering can.

I will pop a link to the feed I use below.

My Choice!
Apsley Farms Natural Plant Food Organic
  • All new natural formula
  • Not just your average NPK liquid fertilizer
  • Trialled and tested
  • Soil Association Approved
Pros:
  • Organic
  • By-product of green energy
  • Contains macronutrients and beneficial microbes.
Cons:
  • Does smell a little
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Runner Bean Trench

Worms and food scraps
Worms and food scraps

The old-school allotmenters’ method of growing runner beans is to do something called a runner bean trench.

This is a trench that is dug out when your runner beans will grow.

You then fill it with tonnes of food scraps and other compostable materials, before covering it back over with soil.

All the food scraps will break down as the beans grow, providing them with lots of food.

This works really well, the reason I don’t do it is that it is a lot of effort, and I don’t like runner beans enough to justify that effort!

Watering

Watering is crucial in the dry summer months
Watering is crucial in the dry summer months

As well as being hungry, runner beans are also thirsty.

Water them well throughout summer and don’t let them dry out.

A good mulch around the base of the plants, I use compost, helps prevent them from drying out quite so fast.

Harvesting

Harvesting Runner Beans
Harvesting Runner Beans

You can harvest the beans by pulling them straight off the plant, but I find it easier to use fruit snips and cut them off.

This way, you reduce the chances of you damaging the plant.

You can find the snips on my store at the link below!

Tried, Tested & Sold By Me!
Needle Nose Snips ARS-300L
£11.99

Perfect for harvesting tomatoes, peppers etc.


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One Comment

  1. Can you grow runner beans and broad beans in the same bed? I’m thinking of putting broad beans on one side and runner beans on the other side of a stick tent

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