Growin’ Runner Beans

Family name: legumes (Leguminosae)


Vegetables that belong to this family are beans (broad, French and runner) and peas. All these can be grown in the same way. Legumes are one of the few plant families that can produce nitrogen on their roots, thereby benefiting next year’s crops. Therefore it is very beneficial to let the roots rot in the soil after harvest. Legumes contain a lot of protein.

Soil, sowing and planting

Runner beans need a soil with a neutral pH (6.5). These plants like well broken-down compost added to the soil, which also helps with retaining moisture.

Sow the runner beans straight into pots of 10 x 10 cm. As these seeds are quite big burry them 3 cm under the sowing compost. You can sow 2 seeds into one pot keeping them 2 cm apart.

When the plants start climbing, they can be hardened off and planted into their permanent position. They will need to be supported, since the plants are climbers. You can tie them up on poles of 2 meters high.

The beans can also be sown straight into the ground, but only after the last frost. Sow the beans in May to July.


Runner beans can be harvested from July to October. The beans are nicer when they’re quite young, when the pod is about 15 cm long. You can either eat the whole bean with the pod, or only the beans inside.

Pests and diseases

Beans disease is a fungal disease that creates black spots on the beans, that later get red outlines. Once you see the black spots, spray it with a natural antifungal, like Horsetail, copper sulfate or Thyme. Take away the effected areas and burn them. Never save seeds from diseased plants.

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One Comment

  1. J. Parsons
    Posted August 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Is it alright to eat runner beans which have black spots, presumably fungal disease?

    Many thanks

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