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How to plant out runner beans

You will need

  • Runner bean seeds or young plants
  • Trowel
  • Seed trays and multi-purpose compost
  • Compost for planting out
Do it: late-May - mid-June
At its best: harvest late-July - late-August
Takes just: 40 minutes


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.

How to do it


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.

Our tip

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.

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to plant out runner beans
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Hannah_Banana_ 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Does anybody know how big the runner beans get before you pick them? I have no idea and they are starting to grow already! I dont want to pick them too early and not too late!

siorapwil1 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Thank you for the information on growing beans. I found it very useful.


Lessie 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Hi there. I have scarlet runner beans growing this year and it is first time with this variety. Can anyone tell me how many days it normally takes from flower to pod harvest. I've googled and read all my magazines without any luck.

oldgreenfingers 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Its nice to refresh myself with your tips on runner beans. This year Im sowing them around my dads garden as he has a 20ft metal pipe frame which always gives us a great crop.

ianrollason 24/11/2011 at 15:29

Should you include runner beans in your crop rotation? I was told years ago that you leave them in the same place each year but dig a trench and fill it with compostable materials. Any ideas?

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