Scarlet Emperor is an old favourite which is early into production. It boasts a shorter growing and slightly rough pod texture but has an outstanding flavour.
Of all the different types of pulses, Runner Beans are probably the most popular variety for home growing. There is nothing quite like the fresh taste of your just picked beans, from your very own garden, with your dinner!
WHEN TO SOW
April to June
Where to Sow
Early sowings can be made underglass at a temperature of 16°C, sow 3 seeds per 8cm (3in) pot filled with seed sowing compost. Outside sowings can be made from May onwards into the growing site 5cm (2in) deep. Sow 2-3 seeds every 20-30cm(8-12in) apart with rows spaced 60cm (24in) apart.
What to do next
Seedlings sown underglass should be gradually hardened off before planting outside in late May to the above spacing, once all risk of frost has past. Place a support cane at each planting station. Alternatively circular plantings can be made with canes joined at the centre to form a wigwam. For optimum crop, place canes 30-45cm (12-18″) apart with 3 beans planted per cane. Water regularly during dry weather.
July to September
Runner Beans are hungry plants, the ground should be well prepared and manured in the previous Autumn.
HANDY TIP FOR FLOWER DROP
Percy Thrower thought that the main cause was slightly acid soil. He recommended applying a dusting of lime to the soil in early winter over the area set aside for runner beans the next year, so that it would get washed into the topsoil by the winters rain. We have tried it and it does work.
A good source of Vitamin C, Folic acid and Iron. High fibre content.