Runner Bean

Find a different vegetable Runner Bean

The Runner Bean (Phaseolus coccineus) is a popular vegetable among gardeners, known for its beautiful red or white flowers and long, flat, green or purple pods. Originally native to Central America, Runner Beans were introduced to Europe in the 17th century and quickly gained popularity as an ornamental plant and later, as a culinary staple.

Runner Beans are rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C, dietary fiber, and folate. They are also low in calories, making them an excellent addition to a healthy diet. When cooked, their tender texture and mild, slightly sweet taste make them a versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes.

To grow Runner Beans, they should be sown after the last frost, when the soil temperature reaches around 60°F (15°C). They thrive in a sunny location with well-draining soil and require support, such as trellises or poles, for their climbing vines. Regular watering and feeding will ensure a bountiful harvest in about 60-70 days.

Runner Beans pair well with other summer vegetables, such as zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. They can be served as a delicious side dish when steamed or sautéed with garlic and olive oil. They also add color and texture to salads, stews, and casseroles. In England, a traditional dish called 'Runner Bean Chutney' is made by combining chopped beans, onions, vinegar, sugar, and spices, making a savory preserve that can be enjoyed year-round.

Growing Runner Bean

This is advice is most applicable to growers in the UK, you may need to adjust the timings if you live somewhere with a different climate and/or seasons.

Month Tasks Advice
January - -
February Start seeds indoors, Sow runner bean seeds in pots or trays indoors, using a good quality seed compost. Keep the temperature around 15°C.
March - -
April Transplant seedlings, Harden off plants, Plant outdoors, Transplant seedlings into larger pots if needed. Begin hardening off plants by placing them outside during the day for a week. Plant runner beans outdoors in their final position, ideally near supports for climbing.
May Plant outdoors, If not planted in April, plant runner beans outdoors in their final position, preferably near supports for climbing.
June Water regularly, Train up supports, Water runner beans frequently to keep the soil moist, especially during dry periods. Train plants to climb up their supports, such as canes or trellises.
July Water regularly, Train up supports, Harvest young pods, Continue watering regularly and training plants. Harvest young runner bean pods when they are about 15-20 cm long for the best flavour.
August Water regularly, Harvest young pods, Keep watering consistently. Continue harvesting young runner bean pods as they mature.
September Harvest remaining pods, Harvest any remaining runner bean pods before the plants begin to die back.
October - -
November - -
December - -

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