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.