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Growing Runner Beans (continued - page 3)

Growing Runner Beans
(continued - page 3)

Caring For Your Runner Beans
The requirements of runner beans are simple - water and weeding, possibly some feeding. All three can be accomplished by a mulch of organic material spread round the plants - this will help retain moisture, keep the weeds down and gently feed the plants. If the soil has been prepared as described previously the only other attention is hand watering in very dry conditions, especially as the flower buds begin to develop. Finally, pinch out the growing tips when the plants reach the top of the supports.

Harvesting Runner Beans
Runner beans will be ready for harvesting in July, and this should continue for two months. Pick the beans when they are young - leaving them too long will result in a crop of stringy beans. Length of the beans does not let you know if they are ready, rely on the texture of the beans - they are past their best when the skin is coarse textured and the beans inside begin to show through like small marbles.

To maximise the crop and the cropping period, pick the beans frequently to encourage new beans to grow. Most beans are very suitable for freezing - check this in the seed catalogues.

Pests and Diseases of Runner Beans
runner bean halo blight

Halo Blight
Brownish spots on the leaves are surrounded by a light coloured 'halo'. This disease comes from the seeds themselves. Possible causes are home-saved seed from the previous year not stored correctly; soaking runner bean seeds before planting; seeds bought from a bad source. It's a good idea to examine the seeds at planting time and reject any which are marked, wrinkled or unusually shaped. There is no cure, dig up and destroy the plants.



Slugs find all parts of runner beans delicious - the roots, stems, leaves and of course the pods. Click here for an in depth look at how to deal with slugs.

Planting Marigolds really does attract beneficial insects such as ladybirds and hoverflies  and these love to eat blackfly. Spraying the plants with water also works - it simply knocks the blackfly off the plant. Where neither of these methods work, it's down to the garden centre for a chemical spray - most work well. Click here for an in depth look at how to deal with Blackfly.


Runner Bean Home Page
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Name: Diane
E-mail: Private
Date posted: July 22, 2011 - 09:15 pm
Message: I am growing scarlet runner beans, planted two months ago. They have beautiful, lush, tall foliage and lovely red flowers...but... there is absolutely no sign of any beans! Where are they??

Name: Dennis
Date posted: July 19, 2011 - 03:30 pm
Message: Something is neatly snipping off the flowers on my runner beans and I find them on the ground. What can I do to prevent this?

Name: kathy
E-mail: kathy.1944@hotmail,
Date posted: July 14, 2011 - 06:34 am
Message: the flowers on my runner beans have started to get a white powder and the flowers have started to drop off help

Name: Barry Jones
E-mail: Private
Date posted: June 22, 2011 - 09:44 am
Message: Hi,a fellow allotment holder by me has a row of runner beans and the leaves are riddelled with holes,i have noticed it on one of my plants, i have never seen it before could you kindly help at all

Name: Peter Stocker
Date posted: May 26, 2011 - 05:17 am
Message: I planted my beans outside a week ago from the greenhouse, within about 3 or 4 days the leaves had been eaten they look like netting, we can not find blankfly, slugs or any other insects.
Could you give me some advice of what to do?

Name: Jean Stickland
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 30, 2010 - 05:41 am
Message: My runner bean leaves had black powdery
patches on the underside of the leaves. What is this and can I compost the leaves, or should I dump them.

Name: John Bull
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 10, 2010 - 08:10 am
Message: When growing your own bean seed does the size of the seed have any prefrence? i.e.better plants,or a better crop etc?

Name: paul middleton
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 02, 2010 - 05:14 am
Message: when the season is over for runner beans is it best to retain plant and let the soil soak up ingredients or do you remove plant completely?

Name: graham webb
E-mail: Private
Date posted: August 07, 2010 - 09:13 am
Message: blossoms on runner beans will not set please advise