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I have bean...sorry been told that its a good idea to put cardboard and / or newspapers into a trench before you plant beans and leeks.
DO I TEAR UP THE CARDBOARD AND PAPER OR JUST LAY IT IN ?
Runner beans grow tall, about 6 feet or so! They need plenty of water, so out with the watering can a lot! make sure you put up a frame if you are growing them up a fence, my father put a fillet of wood going across the top and nails at 4 inch intervals and do the same at the bottom. Then tie strings from top to bottom, runner beans need a sturdy frame to support them. Train your plants to grow right to left and keep watering them. Runner bean plants will flower before they are ready for picking, some have red, some white. The beans will be ready for picking in the Summer, don't let them grow too big or they will be tough, they are ready for picking when they are between 6 and 8 inches long, before you can see the bean from the outside. You can also grow runner beans in a large tub, just put canes in and make it like a wigwam! I rather like the strain called ''White Lady''
Keep picking the beans and you will get more. Happy eating!
Made the mistake of letting my grow too big last year, yuck! will be picking shorter and more often this year.
I think I have made the mistake of planting my runner bean 'seeds' to early - they have been indoors and were growing up the kitchen wall already - so today I have planted them outside - I just hope its not too early and cold and they perish.
It is too early to plant runnerbeans outside and too early to sow either-about the beginning of May to sow and around the end of May to plant out-depends on where your last frost date is.
I am on the south coast and start mine in pots in a couple of weeks or so-your location can make a difference of when to start of between 1-4 weeks.
1 plant to cane around 9/12 inches apart
One tip I picked up recently was that if you're going to use the tepee or wigwam approach for supports, leave out a cane or two, so it's more like a 'c' shape. That way, it's much easier to get in and pick beans that are on the inside of the structure. Similarly, if you're growing a row, fix the canes in an 'x' shape.
I have read somewhere that for a lush crop you can place two plants per cane, and pinch out the growing tips at 2 ft and again at 4ft, this will provide many more productive sideshoots. I will be trying this and will try to remember to report my results. I do, however, foresee difficulty in picking as I will be growing on a wigwam due to lack of space!
I sowed runner/french beans for the first time this year on damp kitchen roll before potting up the one's with shoots. Some have come up roots first so I've pulled them up and turned them around, hope they are going to be ok.