How To Grow Delicious Runner Beans
November 8, 2023
Growing Runner Beans
Runner beans are a type of legume popularly grown as a vegetable crop in warm climates. Unlike other beans, they are climbing plants, growing and flowering over fences, posts, and other support structures. Runner beans are oftentimes planted in both the spring and summer seasons, producing thick, fleshy pods of beans packed with nutrients. Runner beans are highly versatile, suitable for simmering, canning, and grilling, and can also be eaten raw.
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Runner Beans Growing Cheatsheet
🌱 Choose the Right Variety
Opt for reliable and flavorful varieties like "Enorma" or "Scarlet Emperor".
🌞 Find the Perfect Spot
Plant in full sun and ensure well-draining soil with a pH of 6-7.
💦 Water Regularly
Keep soil moist, especially during flowering and pod development.
🌱 Support Your Plants
Provide sturdy trellises or bamboo canes to help them climb and spread.
🐝 Encourage Pollination
Attract bees and other pollinators with companion flowers like marigolds.
🐛 Watch for Pests
Beware of black bean aphids and slugs; use organic pest controls if needed.
🌱 Harvest at the Right Time
Pick beans when they snap easily, before seeds become too apparent.
🥘 Enjoy Nutritious Meals
Runner beans are rich in fiber, iron, and vitamin C—perfect for health-conscious cooks.
🌿 Preserve the Harvest
Blanch then freeze excess beans for year-round deliciousness.
🌱 Rotate Crops
Prevent disease and maintain soil fertility by rotating with other vegetable families yearly.
🌿 Save Seeds
Become self-sufficient by saving seeds from your best plants for future harvests.
So you want to grow delicious runner beans? Well, you've come to the right place! I've been growing these delightful legumes in my own garden for years, and let me tell you, there's nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked runner beans straight from the vine. In this blog post, I'll share with you everything I've learned about growing runner beans, from selecting the right varieties to caring for your plants throughout the season.
1. Choosing the Right Variety
When it comes to runner beans, you have a few options to choose from. There are both climbing and dwarf varieties available, so consider the space you have in your garden before making a decision. I personally prefer the climbing varieties, as they produce a higher yield and are easier to pick.
2. Preparing the Soil
Before planting your runner beans, it's important to prepare the soil properly. Make sure the area is well-drained and weed-free. Dig in plenty of organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve the soil's fertility. This will provide your plants with the nutrients they need to thrive.
3. Planting Your Runner Beans
Once your soil is prepared, it's time to plant your runner beans. Start by creating a trench about 8-10 inches deep. Space your seeds or seedlings about 9-12 inches apart, ensuring they are planted about 2 inches deep. Backfill the trench with soil and gently firm it down.
4. Watering and Mulching
Runner beans require regular watering, especially during dry spells. Water deeply once or twice a week, ensuring the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Consider mulching around your plants to help retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
5. Supporting Your Plants
Since runner beans are climbers, they will need some sort of support. You can use a trellis, bamboo canes, or even a wigwam structure made from several canes tied together at the top. As your plants grow, gently tie the stems to the support to help them climb.
6. Feeding Your Runner Beans
To encourage a healthy crop of runner beans, it's important to feed your plants regularly. Apply a balanced fertilizer every few weeks, following the instructions on the packaging. Additionally, you can top-dress your plants with a layer of organic matter, like compost or well-rotted manure, to provide them with an extra boost.
7. Dealing with Pests and Diseases
Runner beans can be prone to pests such as aphids and slugs. Keep an eye out for any signs of infestation and take action promptly. You can use organic pest control methods such as hand-picking or spraying with a solution of water and dish soap. Additionally, regularly inspect your plants for any signs of disease, such as powdery mildew, and treat as necessary.
8. Harvesting Your Runner Beans
When your runner beans are ready for harvest, they will be firm and have reached their full size. Use both hands to gently snap them off the vine, being careful not to damage the plant. Remember, the more you pick, the more your plants will produce, so don't be shy!
Did you know that runner beans are not only delicious but also packed with nutrients? They are an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fiber and protein. So not only are you growing something tasty, but you're also nourishing your body!
Now that you have all the tips and tricks for growing delicious runner beans, it's time to put them into action. Happy gardening!
What are the ideal growing conditions for runner beans?
Growing runner beans requires well-drained soil and full sun.
When should I plant runner beans?
Plant runner beans in spring, after the last frost.
How do I plant runner beans?
Plant runner beans 2 inches deep and 8 inches apart.
How often should I water runner beans?
Water runner beans regularly, keeping the soil moist.
Do runner beans need support?
Yes, runner beans require support structures or trellises to climb.
How long does it take for runner beans to grow?
Runner beans typically take 8 to 12 weeks to reach maturity.
When can I harvest runner beans?
Harvest runner beans when the pods are firm and about 6-8 inches long.
How do I preserve runner beans?
Freezing or canning are popular methods to preserve runner beans.
Can I save the seeds from runner beans for next year?
Yes, let the pods fully dry on the plant, then collect and store the seeds for next year.
Are runner beans prone to pests and diseases?
Yes, watch out for common pests like aphids and diseases like chocolate spot.
Runner Beans are a fantastic choice for the home vegetable gardener, providing an abundance of delicious beans for the kitchen with minimal effort. With quick germination and growth, they are easy to grow and trouble-free, producing big harvests in a short time. this makes them a great choice for beginner gardeners as well as experienced gardeners looking for a satisfying harvest of fresh beans.