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Andrew Kenneth

Hi All,

Turned over a small area of land today where I had last years runner beans. Up came with a spade full of earth this:

 I didn't know they had such large roots.

My question is, if I had left it in the soil would a new healthy crop yielding vine have emerged.

Or have I done the right thing in digging them up. As I was led to believe it's not good practice to grow the same crops in the same place year after year?


They are perennial in their native habitat, Andrew, but the cold and wet usually kills them in the UK.  I had a few re-shoot and grow well several years ago, probably after a dry, mild winter.  Stick them in pots of moist compost and see what happens!

Andrew Kenneth

Instead of pots could they be placed in the soil in another spot?


Yes, but that would reduce their chances as soil contains a lot of things which could lead to their demise (fungal spores, slugs etc.)

Edit: only worth trying if they are still firm and show no sign of rot etc.  It takes a rare set of circumstances for them to survive here.



Do let us know if you try this and it works?  I've never had such sturdy looking roots on my runners - it has been a mild and wet winter to date, so maybe they would stand a chance.  I did not know they were perennial in their native habitat - which is where please BobtG?


Central and south America (in the mountainous areas I believe), Bookertoo.  They've been cultivated for millennia there.


As with all peas and beans, runner beans trap nitrogen from the atmosphere, hence the swollen roots. Put them in the compost bin and grow fresh this year.


I love growing plants from seed so I too would add them to the compost as in a normal British winter they would'nt survive.


Andrew Kenneth

There's no harm in trying so I will put one in a pot and the other in the ground and see what happens. I have plenty of space so there's no problem there.

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