St George Runner Beans

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Here are my beautiful Runner Beans I only sowed them last month and already they are looking big and strong enough to go outside.

Runner beans or Pole beans are so exciting to grow because they get so big so quickly. With their pretty red, pink or white flowers. In some countries they are only grown for their flowers which attract humming birds, fat chance in the UK but they do crop an abundance of mouth watering beans, that’s what I’m looking forward to.

I think I will chance it and plant them out this weekend on the veggie plot. They are useless if a frost arrives and will literally drop down dead. I do have some others I sowed last week just incase a sneaky frost creeps up.

For my area the last frost are usually the first weeks of May so I will get them out I think! It’s been pretty mild really so why not! I do like a gamble.

I will plant them in my bean bed, hopefully they will bring a little shelter to my broad beans.

Runner beans and what you need to know…

They like a good rich bed, but get it right. If its too rich as in, filled with too much manure etc. They will invest all their energy into getting loads of foliage and not their beans.

They like a nicely drained plot, and enjoy a good watering once a week.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the flowers to set, I’ve found giving them a gentle spray of an evening helps.

They can get massive and heavy so once they have reached the tops of their supports or wigwams nip out their tops then they will concentrate on getting all nice and bushy.

As I said they are huge and the weight on their supports can get a bit much, so ensure the structure is firmly bedded into place. Last year we had very strong winds and my wigwam toppled over and I just couldn’t get it back up again. I have learnt my lesson, this year I will do a better job.

Don’t worry if they are slow to flower, give them chance and just keep weeding and watering, you will soon be cropping these lovely long beans.

Harvest the long beans pods when they are small and tender, as they get super big they can get a little on the ‘stringy’ side. No need to pod them just slice up the pods and cook!

So my St George Runner beans will be out this weekend, good luck my little fellas my fingers will be crossed for good weather for you…

Happy Gardening x


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