Growing runner beans from seed
Sowing and planting runner beans
Runner beans need a sunny spot in rich, moisture-retentive soil with plenty of well-rotted compost or manure added. Ideally you'll have done this the previous winter, but if not, you can can get away with digging it in just before you start planting.
By sowing outdoors in April, in deep pots, you'll get better germination and earlier harvests. The seedlings will also be out of reach of slugs. Well-developed seedlings can be planted out after the last frost, usually around late May. You can make later sowings outside in May and June, but these won't start cropping until July or August.
If space is limited, grow runner beans in containers for an attractive and edible display – try 'Painted Lady', with its pretty red and white flowers. Add a wigwam of canes for support.
When growing in pots, it's especially important to keep plants well watered. Choose as large a container as possible to help stop the compost drying out too quickly. Add a thick layer of mulch to the compost surface to hold in moisture, and on hot days move the pot out of direct sun if possible.