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14/05/2013 at 09:44

Good morning

This  is my first time growing runner beans. I have 30 in pots on my windowsills and they are running away at an alarming speed very tall and skinny. Help , what do I do now ?

14/05/2013 at 10:17

As soon as you feel pretty sure there won't be another frost then plant them out. But first harden them off by putting them outside in their pots and giving them some night time protection or bringing them in again if there is a frost forecast. I fear you have sown them a little too soon. Runner beans are tall and skinny anyway.

14/05/2013 at 10:34

As you live in Sutton the risk of frost now is very small...follow above advice. You may have beans before the rest of us

14/05/2013 at 12:27

Criss

I would delay for just a few days.....cold just now and should....should...be tad warmer by weekend.  Runner beans dont do cold weather.  Frost is fatal but cold wet soil is pretty bad for them too....they are likely to rot.

Any chance of covering the ground with cloches to warm and dry out the soil?  can you cover ground with sheet of polythene for week or so?  I would cover with fleece when planted out, keeping on during the day for couple of days, and overnight for week or so. 

How will you grow them?  Wigwam?  If so you could wrap the whole lot, wigwam too, with fleece.  

I agree beans were sown bit early, considering its a cold spring, but I have sown in early March in the past...these were covered then with plastic.  I had crops from early June through to October.  Mind you, it's mild down here

14/05/2013 at 16:50

Thanks every one for such a quick response,  all your suggestions were very helpful. Verdun, I am going to plant the beans in two quite large deep raised beds that we recycled out of packing crates. The depth is aprox 45cm x 1200cm  will this be Ok ? How would you place the canes ? 

14/05/2013 at 17:39

Hiya criss

Can you plant adjacent rows and tie in?  A horizontal cane across the top joints adds to the strength.

14/05/2013 at 17:53

If you are in a windy place your bean cane structure can be a bit of a sail!! You can add further horizontal canes half way down or thirds if you are keen.

14/05/2013 at 23:43

Great, thanks again. All makes sense now. 

15/05/2013 at 07:40

A friend cannot get a replacement plastic cover for a little greenhouse, so I suggested that she use the frame to grow her beans up, with guy ropes to stabilise it.

15/05/2013 at 07:44

Artjak, that sounds like a good idea to me. Not just a pretty face...ha ha

Maybe a thread for adapting things like this would be good!

15/05/2013 at 08:02

I'll start one right now Verdun

15/05/2013 at 08:28

ArtJack,I got a replacement plastic cover a few years ago. The company is called "Halls" I think and I rang them and they were very efficient. Sorry but I have lost the details, which I got originally from my local GC which sells them. Some GCs sell replacements but you need to check the dimensions first. 

15/05/2013 at 08:32

I think it was a cheap G/H from Wilkinsons and they don't do that model anymore. But I will tell my friend to try Halls

15/05/2013 at 08:35

I also use my frames from the plastic greenhouses for extra staging in the main greenhouse and also as shelving for all my sundries. So all is not lost.

15/05/2013 at 08:41

Woodgreen, I have just started thread; Make do and mend for everyones brilliant ideas, so you could post yours there

15/05/2013 at 09:17

artjak... will do, in fact have done.

15/05/2013 at 23:27

Criss. I'm trying a new structure this year to train beans and peas up. 

Instead of the traditional upside down 'v' shape with the canes crossing at the top, I'm crossing them in the middle like a giant 'x', the canes are tied in the middle.

You don't get the congestion of plants meeting at the top. This structure is then reinforced with a rectangular frame at the top in my case a 3.5ft by 1.5ft frame made of wooden lats and a lat either side attached to the short lengths, in the middle, about 7ft long and driven into the ground about 1ft. The tops of the canes are tied to the light wooden frame.

The structure allows wind to flow through it better reducing the risk of it going over in strong winds.

15/05/2013 at 23:42

Zoomer, sounds good....I will think about something similar myself

I made a circular metal band with holes to accommodate canes..9 in all....to give me  a similar effect, viz., keeping tops of canes further apart and to provide strength. It works very well, simple to erect and neat

16/05/2013 at 01:56

As a general rule, plants grown indoors that are in a warm enviroment will grow quicker and become leggy. Ideally start them off in pots until they are around 3 inches in height then put them in a sheltered position outside. Being exposed to a cooler enviroment will slow their growth rate and harden them off. I start mine in 'rootrainer' trays until 2 inches high, then put them in a cold frame where they become stronger and used to the outside world. Once they are around 4 inches in height I then plany them up against a tent frame on the allotment and off they go. This works year in, year out.. so much so I have to fill shopping bags with excess and give them away every year. Thats just the crop from 10 plants. As you can imagine the neighbours love me

16/05/2013 at 13:39

Zoomer44, do you have a photo of this bean structure?

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