Pinching out or topping runner beans is a simple but important job. Keep reading to learn more about taking the growth point out of climbing beans.
Why Pinch Out Runner Beans?
All climbing beans will continue to grow ever taller until stopped by the first frosts of the year.
This is not ideal for us gardeners as a) they are hard to support and b) that energy would be better spent on bean production.
By removing the plant’s growing point, we stop it from growing vertically. It then puts more effort into producing more beans for us.
The plant will also often grow bushier, again meaning more beans for us – and at a manageable harvesting height!
When To Top Runner Beans
The simplest answer is “whenever they reach the top of your support”.
I use 7ft garden canes, and once they are growing over the top of these canes, I will remove the growing point.
How To Top Runner Beans
The process is simple enough. Just snip the end off the growing point of the plant.
I use my snips, but you can just nip them out with your fingernails.
I cut here, just above a node, where you can see some developing flowers.
Frequently Asked Questions
How tall should I let my runner beans grow?
Runner beans can grow up to 3 meters tall, but it is recommended to let them grow up to 2 meters. This height is sufficient for the plant to produce a good yield of beans while still being manageable to harvest.
When is the best time to top runner beans?
The best time to top runner beans is when they reach the desired height. This is usually around 2 meters. It is important to top them before they start to produce flowers, as this can negatively affect the yield.
What is the proper way to top runner beans?
To top runner beans, simply pinch off the top of the plant once it has reached the desired height. This will encourage the plant to produce more lateral shoots, which will result in a higher yield of beans.
Is chicken manure a good fertilizer for runner beans?
Yes, chicken manure is a good fertilizer for runner beans. It is high in nitrogen, which is essential for plant growth.
However, it is important to use it sparingly, as too much nitrogen can result in excessive foliage growth at the expense of bean production.
How do I increase the yield of my runner beans?
To increase the yield of runner beans, it is important to provide them with adequate water and nutrients. Regular watering and fertilizing with a balanced fertiliser will help the plant to produce more beans.
It is also important to ensure that the plant is properly supported, as this will prevent damage to the plant and beans.
What is the recommended spacing for runner beans?
The recommended spacing for runner beans is 20-30cm between plants and 60-90cm between rows. This will allow the plants to have enough space to grow and produce a good yield of beans.