Runner beans form long, flat pods which have to be eaten when young.
Picking every other day is essential to ensure a continual supply. They stop producing flowers if any beans are not picked. Runner beans are a highly productive vegetable and the flowers are decorative.
Stick beans is another name for runner beans because they climb up sticks or poles.
- The poles should be 80cm x 80cm apart.
Hazel is the preferred pole, but they are hard to get hold of. It is possible to buy plastic poles, or bamboo canes can be used. These must be firmly supported, as the foliage becomes very heavy, and strong winds will blow them over. The usual method is to have a double line of
inwardly facing and crossed poles with a horizontal holding bar tied along the ridge. Wigwams are becoming more popular, with a cone of poles tied at the top into a wigwam shape.
- Sow 2-3 seeds per pole or cane, when the danger of frost has passed.
Runner beans require a well-dug fertile soil with good drainage.
* *Painted Lady – long beans, red&white flowers, high yields
* *Desiree – long, stringless pods . White flowers, heavy cropper, good flavour
* *Enorma – excellent cropper with slender beans
* *Scarlet Emperor – very long beans, delicious and tender
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