Tips for good Runner Bean crops
- Prepare the soil to retain moisture by incorporating good compost and/or wet newspaper at the bottom of a trench in winter.
- Rotate crops to a new patch every year on a three year cycle.
- Do not feed with heavy nitrogen fertilisers or you will get leaf and less flower.
- Flowers pollinate best if the air is humid so mist over if there is a dry spell.
- Water plants well and regularly or stunted ‘C’ curved beans will disappoint
- Support with a cane each or on a wigwam. I am trying an X shape this year so that the top half of the X encourages beans to hang down outside the plant and be easy to pick.
- Harvest when beans are still young and have a snap in them
- Try a variety know for its flavour like Kelvedon Marvel or Red Knight
- Ruby moon has maroon pods that turn green when cooked and Painted lady has red and white bi-coloured flowers
- Runner Beans can be grown for the bean inside or for the whole pod to be eaten
Tips for entering Runner Beans for a local show
- Stick to the schedule for the show – if it says three runner beans submit three runner beans and label the variety correctly
- Chose straight beans of equal length and form – size isn’t everything
- If beans need a bit of straightening keep them in a wet towel overnight pressed straight.
- Grow and take some spares to the show
- Display as instructed or on black velvet to show off your specimen
- Collect the seed of good plants for next year and develop your own strain or get good seed from a specialist
- If you want a giant bean to become a world record you will be looking for bean in excess of 48 inches and it will be too woody to eat.