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For several years I have been growing Runner Beans in containers, this is just to have an extra supply near the house, and indeed for interest. As there is a plentiful supply of farm yard manure I always place a generous amount in the base, and top up with J.I. No 3. This is very successful, but I just wondered if other gardeners do this, and if they use any other feed at any time during the growing season, so as to maximize the quantity of this delicious vegetable.


Hi Cowslip2

I know nothing about growing runner beans but next spring I will spring will try to grow some beans in containers, I am interested in which containers you use for your beans and how do you tie them up, I think ours will go against a fence.



Pennine Petal
My dad used to grow great runner beans, rows not containers and he always made a trench in winter and threw in all the vegetable peelings. Then he put the soil on top and planted. I wonder if it would work with containers.
Penninetal, that's exactly how I grow my runner beans......deep trench and empty contents of my compost heap in and rake soil back. Get huge quantities of beans. Should work in containers .... Bigger the better with a wigwam of bamboo canes tied together very securely at the top and watered well. For early crop sow in trays indoors, move into pots in cold frame, etc, plant in the container and cover with fleece until danger of frost has gone
Pennine Petal
I think I might try it next year, I have an old plastic dustbin with a climbing rose that is not doing too well, I could put beans in it.

Advertisement will remember to drill holes in it won't you?
Pennine Petal
Already in, but I will replace the compost and just make sure that it is well drained.

Cowslip we could do a trial and see how it compares with your methods this year.

We usually have a pot of runner beans in addition to the ones in the garden. My OH fills a large container, this year it was a terracotta pot about 18"across the top, with homemade compost, but any good compost will do. This year we put 4 beans in that he had left over from setting out the row, scabby things he said, didn't know if they would do any good. The results have been as good as the ones in the garden, in fact they were a little earlier. The most important thing to do is to water EVERY day, don't let them dry out and to feed twice a week with any plant food. ie proprietary flower food or tomato food. He puts long canes in the pot  for them to grow up and ties it to the gutter on the lean-to. With a bit of luck you should have plenty of beans.

We have had amazing success with runner beans, purely by accident!  My daughter germinated bean seeds to show at school as part of a science topic.  We just plonked the young plants near some sunflowers we had in a tub.  They have twirled around the sunflowers, and we have just had some for tea - already frozen some for later in the year.  The other plants I put, rather hopefully, in a shady border and these too have been successful.  They are clinging to the ivy that grows on the fence.  I have fed them and watered them virtually daily but didn't dig a trench etc, just poked them into the soil!

Yes Penninepetal, I will be doing the same thing next year all being well,  so watch this space! My largest pots are eighteen inches across, and smaller ones only about twelve. It is a darn problem with the wind blowing them to one side. use plenty of canes ,I say.!

Leave some pods to mature and with luck you will get a nice crop of beans to use in stews etc. They freeze well too.

My father always used to save his bean seeds from year to year, as did his father.  However, in today's climate, it's wise to be wary of infringing copyright if you are using hybrid seeds for the first time.

Freezing beans works very well as does that old fashioned method - salting.  If you are running out of freezer space, it's always worth trying. 


As I understand it, you'd be ok using seeds you've saved yourself, even if they to have Breeder's Rights or whatever they're called.  It's just that you shouldn't sell them.

I save my bean seeds but as I am growing Scarlet emperor + Celebration + White lady all together I can not be sure what variety I might end up with - perhaps this time next year I can tell you. Last year I did not include White Lady and I can not see any sign of hybridising between the other two. I did spend a half hour last week watching the bees breaking through the back of the flowers and I notice a lot of beans not setting! The culprits seem to be the smaller type with a white fluffy tail. I guess the other insects are doing a proper job as I still get beans but only about a third of what I expected.

I had a poor crop of beans this year....mine were covered with black fly however . .  Would that stop me getting beans? I think I've only had about 10 beans from 5 plants. I thought you couldn't go wrong with runners

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