London (change)
Today 11°C / 5°C
Tomorrow 9°C / 7°C
10 messages
01/03/2014 at 18:46

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?

01/03/2014 at 19:00

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!

01/03/2014 at 19:10

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

01/03/2014 at 19:28

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.

01/03/2014 at 19:39

Many thanks.

01/03/2014 at 20:25

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?

01/03/2014 at 20:39

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

01/03/2014 at 21:01

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.

01/03/2014 at 21:41

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.


02/03/2014 at 12:13

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.

email image
10 messages