Posted: 28/05/2013 at 12:02
I planted my runner beans out over a week ago & they are doing well, but we are in Bristol & the weather has been reasonable (no frosts). One thing about runner beans (I've been growing them every year since 1967) they do love plenty of moisture: I always dig a trench 2 spits (spade depths) deep and at least 1/2 fill it with organic matter, even shredded newspaper, anything that will hold water, then backfill with the soil tread it all down to firm it all and rake to a fine tilth then put the canes in (in an 'A' frame formation using 8 ft canes, then plant out the beans. This will prevent accidentally damaging the roots if you put the canes in afterwards. Don't forget to use whatever slug/snail deterent you prefer as your crop could be decimated, particularly if it rains hard as this will bring the little critters out in their droves.
When the plants reach the top of the canes pinch out the growing tips and this will cause the plant to send out more runners increasing your crop. Also, keep picking when the beans are big enough to use, if you let the plant set seed they will have 'done their job' so to speak and production will slow right down.