How to plant out runner beans

Do it:

May, Jun

Takes just:

45 minutes

At its best:

Jul, Aug

Plant runner beans now and these vegetables will thrive in the warm, moist soil and quickly twine up their supports. At this time of year you can still sow seeds, which will produce a good harvest of succulent pods, or you can buy young plants. Either way, you'll get a delicious crop that tastes much better that the out-of-season beans from supermarkets.

You will need

  • Runner bean seeds or young plants
  • Trowel
  • Seed trays and multi-purpose compost
  • Compost for planting out

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If you are growing runner beans from seed, sow a few extra as a back up in case some plants die. Either sow these directly in the soil or into modular seed trays of multi-purpose compost to germinate indoors.

Water the compost in the pots of young bean seedlings an hour before planting. The roots of the plants should be well developed, but not pot-bound in the container.

Erect a wigwam of bamboo canes or sticks over well-prepared soil. Using a trowel, dig a hole at the base of each cane and set plants with the top of the root ball level with the surrounding soil. Fill around the roots with soil and firm the plant in place using your fingers. Water the plants well before applying a 5cm-deep mulch of damp compost around the base of the plants to help conserve soil moisture.

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Make a shallow dent in the soil near the plants, fill it with water and it will soak down to their roots, rather than running off the soil surface.

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