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Hello. I have a small problem in the shape of a bean. I have planted runner beans and am still waiting for my first pod. Plenty flowers but not one set. Heigh ho.

However, that isn't the problem. The problem is that, because I suspected that I would have no runner beans, ( I rarely have any success with them) I planted a row of borlotti beans. And wow do I have success with borlotti beans. BUT. I don't know if I am supposed to eat them like runner beans, pod and all, or if i am supposed to wait until they are hard little dry nuggets and cook them like red kidney beans. Or both. 

Anyone know what to do with them?


You can do either - I've grown them in the past and would have grown them this year but didn't have room (raspberries making a takeover bid! ).  

I love borlotti beans - they're delicious cooked as you would do french or runners - and you can dry them

lots of info here 


Oh right. Thanks for that. Beans for tea then. A la Blazing Saddles, I hope not


P.S. I know what you mean about the rasps. And the birds get them all anyway.


pansyface I grow them each year and eat them whole as I do French beans, lovely in stew with lamb and potatoes. I don't bother drying and saving. They do freeze well.  

If your runners aren't setting try misting the flowers with the hose when you water them.



Thank you all for your help. I tried them as "runners" last night and now know that they suffer from the same problem of stringiness is left to get too big. Otherwise very tasty.

KEF, thank you for suggesting the misting trick. I have tried that many a time and oft with no noticeable improvement. Improvement on current success rate of 0% would be welcome. Short of dancing round them naked at midnight, blowing a goat's horn, at full moon I don't know what else to try. Mind you, the sight of that would probably make them curl up and die. Not to mention the effect it would have on the neighbours.


pansyface don't under estimate yourself about your dancing abilities 

Soz but other than misting only other suggestion I have is that sometimes if the roots are dry in hot weather the beans don't set. Hope you do get some  beans and warm weather

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