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Is it too early to plant out the runners and French beans that are growing in pots? Here in Essex we don't tend to get late frosts. I've greenhouse grown them and hardened off in readiness, but they are growing tall so fast. Anyone else put theirs out yet?


I think they should be fine now

Mine have gone out too and they are shooting away.


I'm in Essex - put my runners out 2 days ago and already they're well away.



Thank you all, I'll do those straight away as we are due some rain and it will water them in.


Orchid Lady

I'm in the North West and mine are going out at weekend.....I need the GH space! 

Orchid Lady

I read the other day to sow the seeds now??  I was confused I must admit, they'll be just like Sweet Peas David and catch up......don't mollycoddle them though 

Orchid Lady

Hmmm, do you really think so??  All I do is refer them to threads from the experts LOL 

Orchid Lady

That's just because I get bored watching repeats of car programmes David.....guess what's on TV now 

Green Magpie

My French beans have been out in the bed (in a warm, sunny spot) for over a week now and they are starting to get away quite nicely. On the other hand, in other years I have left them until late May to sow directly into the soil, and they did well that way too. If yours look ready, then put them out now rather than let them outgrow their pots or get too thin and lanky.


My runners & climbing french beans went into garden on Monday in S. Yorks been well watered in, it has hardly stopped raining. Pigeons had a scrag at one runner but main stem okay. I haven't netted as yet, don't usually have to, have spares in case of total chomp.  

John Harding

I put my runner beans in about 4 weeks ago. It's been quite mild here in Bristol with no frosts for many weeks. Pic below: they are climbing well.

Variety is Moonlight - a white flowered bean that the sparrows leave alone, are prolific, self fertile and incredibly tasty.

 I read somewhere that it is best to tie the canes low down so that the beans are easier to pick and they get more light & grow better so I am trying that this year.


I'm so pleased that I have planted all mine today and already they are twirling round the trellis and canes. Some are up a tall south facing fence, the others on an A frame like the photo above.

I was well organised this year and started my beans off on a damp cloth overnight in the airing cupboard. They had shoots within 48 hours. I did this because they were seeds I had saved from plants I'd grown 2 years ago and I wasn't sure if they would grow. This way I could see which ones wanted to get going, and that the seeds were not too old.

Shrinking Violet

Here in West Somerset where it is very mild, I planted my hardened off beans (Runners and Climbing French) last week.  Even so, with cold winds, I fleeced them for a couple of nights, and they seem to be doing very well, even though a couple of the leaves show signs of cold!  

what is the purpose of hardening exactly? to toughen against the weather or predators?



To get the plants used to fluctuating temperatures, both higher and lower than they've been used to in a greenhouse or coldframe, so that soft lush growth put on in a protective environment isn't get damaged by cold temperatures or scorched by strong sunlight.

An incidental result of the plant having tougher leaves may make it marginally less palatable to slugs, but only marginally 

Steve 309

My runners (sown late April in loo roll tubes in the g/h) have been out a fortnight and are doing fine.  But then we've had no frost since I don't know when, and not a lot then. (N Liverpool).  The climbing French all rotted in their tubes due to over-watering by the dutiful residents so I've sown some more at the base of the sweetcorn - which went out at the same time.  So far, none of them have much slug damage but I'm regretting not having scattered slug pellets befor going away for a week.