Delicious runner beans are a firm favourite on our dinner plates from Summer until early Autumn, and they are always at their tastiest when cooked fresh from the garden.
Easy to grow and care for, they make a good choice for any gardener, and like most vegetables they are also happy to be grown in containers as long as you keep them well fed and watered. Container grown plants and vegetables make your favourites extremely portable too, so they’re easy to take with if you find yourself moving mid-season!
Our guide below will show you how to plant your runner beans in a container – and with a little care and patience, you’ll be enjoying your own tasty runner beans this Summer!
To plant your beans, you’ll need:
- Your chosen container, large enough to accommodate your bean plants
- Enough compost to fill it
- Bamboo canes
- A cane ring
- Plus your chosen runner bean seeds of course!
Preparing the container
First fill your container with compost, taking care to fork it over to break up any large lumps which may have formed in the bag.
Next place your bamboo canes equal distances apart around the edge of your pot, and then snap them into the cane ring to keep them secured.
Planting your seeds
Read the instructions on your packet carefully, before opening it and tipping some seeds into your palm.
Plant your seeds by placing each one on top of the compost and the pushing it down with your thumb, to the point where your thumb meets your hand, before carefully covering the hole you’ve made with compost.
In order to ensure that you get a good crop, be sure to plant more than one seed around each cane – because you can always thin them out to the strongest plants once they have germinated and begun to grow.
Water your container thoroughly, and keep it watered while your seeds germinate.
Once your plants are growing, remove the weakest and encourage the remaining plants onto the canes – and gently tie them in too as this will prevent damage and keep them secure in windy conditions.
All beans are thirsty plants but runner beans should be watered particularly well, twice a week in dry weather, both when the flower buds appear and once they’re open. It’s also a good idea to mulch the compost as this will help to retain precious moisture.
You can expect to see your first crop in around 12 weeks, and after that regular picking is essential. Your beans will be at their very best while the pods are still young and before they get too plump – and the more you pick, the more they’ll produce!
So what are you waiting for? Visit us in-store NOW to get your seeds, containers, compost, canes and cane rings – and get ready to enjoy a bean bonanza this season!
Update – June 2015
Just a few weeks on, you’ll see from the picture that these have germinated and grown into strong little plants which will soon be ready to tie gently on to the canes, so that they are well-supported as they climb.