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in Fruit & veg
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.
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.
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.