Olympic runners in the vegetable garden

Person Author: Ryan Lewis Calender May 11, 2012 Posted Tags: , Comment No Comments

Now that the worst of the cold weather’s behind us, at least it is down South, we can start to sow our Beans and more tender plants.

Beans really are quick off the mark and are a fantastic project if you have children as they’re large enough to handle and quick to sprout and grow. Plus there’s always tales of beanstalks and giants to keep them enthralled.

Whether growing for produce or for ornamental purpose runner beans really are great to grow and very prolific. As their name suggests they run, climb and twine all over the place adding great vertical height to any garden or allotment plot. I like to grow my beans over wigwams but any structure made of bamboo canes or other materials will suffice.

To sow your seeds simply plunge an individual seed in to a small pot, module or toilet roll tube filled with compost and water it well. Ideally you want to place seeds around 5cm (2”) deep. Leave these to germinate and grow on until all risk of frost has passed, planting out at the end of the month.

To get plants growing well you can train them to start growing up canes or poles by tying them loosely, after that they will climb with great gusto. Keep an eye out for slugs and snails and for aphids, which can wreak havoc.

Three to try:

  • Runner Bean ‘Painted Lady’ – A decorative and productive plant with bicoloured flowers. A favourite plant for people looking for that something slightly deifferent.
  • Runner Bean ‘Enorma’ – As its name suggest this plant produces very long bean pods and is a great bean to grow if you want high yield or fancy entering the competition arena.
  • Runner Bean ‘Hestia’ – A dwarf Runner Bean that is great for growing in containers or beds and borders.

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