They're off!

by Jane Moore

After a slow start my runner beans are finally off and away and are producing a late but very welcome crop.

Runner beansAfter a slow start my runner beans are finally off and away and are producing a late but very welcome crop. At the start of the season I wondered if they were going to get past the first post (or up the first foot or so of cane actually). Slugs and snails paid them a great deal of attention - a lot more than Lizzy and me - and the cold, damp weather seemed to stop them in their tracks. If you need some tips on growing beans take a look at the rhs website.

They just sat there for weeks, getting nibbled steadily, and valiantly producing a few more leaves which the slugs then decimated again. But, since summer has officially arrived (in time for the last bank holiday of August) they've rocketed up their poles, gamely produced a decent show of flowers and now I'm getting some beans at long last. If you're suddenly overwhelmed by beans Delia's got a lovely chutney recipe.

This year, we're growing a variety that I've wanted to try for years. It's beautifully named 'Painted Lady' and it appeals to the girlie in me with its two-tone red and white flowers. These beans may not fruit (I s'pose that's the right term - it doesn't sound quite right for beans somehow?) as well as other varieties with their exhibition names of 'Enorma' and 'Best of All' but it doesn't half look pretty. And we're usually inundated with beans, so a few less just makes the crop more manageable for us and our dainty, girlie appetites. We wish!

Discuss this blog post

Talkback: They're off!
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 17/04/2007 at 23:50

im a first time gardener n your piece really helped thanx.

Gardeners' World Web User 16/09/2007 at 15:26

I grow beans in pots-never fails and Slugs and Snails are very few.

Gardeners' World Web User 18/09/2007 at 12:17

I too was wondering if my runner beans were ever going to arrive, in spite of having strong plants which were planted out at the right time. But like you they are now showing good form. Thought it was because im in central Scotland. Thanks for the encoragemet

Gardeners' World Web User 18/09/2007 at 19:34

Why is it that whenever past presenters of gardeners world are celebrated, Geoffrey Smith is never mentioned? He was an informative and enthusiastic presenter. Along with Geoff Hamilton he was a gardener I learned a huge amount from. I hate to see him so ignored.

Gardeners' World Web User 23/09/2007 at 11:35

I was interested to read about your slow starting runner beans. All of my beans sulked this year and have only just started to produce pods. I won't have a glut, which is very disappointing and frustrating! I thought it was because I'm growing on a different patch that has never grown beans before, but perhaps weather and slugs are really to blame. Maybe next year will be better!

See more comments...