Runner Beans Mixed - Runner Bean


Runner Beans Mixed - Runner Bean


These are all twinning runner beans that bear long wide, rough pods that are tender when young and are steamed, boiled or sautéed before the beans develop too much in the pods.  Runner beans are generally strong climbers and need some sort of support. The vines could become heavy so a sturdy fence or heavy poles wired at the top forming a kind of open teepee might fit the bill.  The flowers which are red, white and pink depending on variety start early and continue to frost.  Flowers will attract hummingbirds and butterflies but vines set pods poorly during hot and dry weather.

60-100 days  

(20 seeds)  

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Pole Runner Beans
Packet contains 20 seeds) for 10 poles.

10 hills of runner beans can provide an interesting occasional side dish through the summer.  In North America they are considered more ornamental used for the display of flowers that can attract hummingbirds and bees.  Pole beans are indeterminate and will start bearing early and continue to bear as the vine grows through the summer.  As with all green beans, picking the pods at the tender immature stages before the pods become bumpy with developing seeds will result in more production.  Leaving the pods to mature will signal the plant to putting it’s resources into the seed instead of a new flush of flowers and green beans.  Runner beans do best in wet, cool weather and high temperatures will interfere with flowering and pod set.  A spray of water to mitigate the heat may help.

 Sow seeds directly into the soil Mid to late May on Long Island.  These are large seeds.  You can start seeds indoors two weeks earlier if you have the right cool and sunny environment so that seedlings do not become leggy.  Pole beans require support because the twining vines can reach from 6 to 12 feet in height.  A tall fence or trellis will do.  One or two beans every foot in a row is good spacing.   Many gardeners place a rough bark pole in the garden every three feet apart or three long bamboo poles ties together at the top in a teepee arrangement.  A hill or cluster of 2-3 beans is placed at the base of each pole.  Beans are planted an inch below the surface.  Beans benefit by irrigation during drought conditions.

Runner beans can be used any way that bush green beans are used.  You may find some recipes for Runner Beans from Northern Europe where these are in most people’s vegetable garden.  They are a rather rough kind of bean which has not been subject to much modern breeding.   If you fail to harvest the pods of some of the older varieties while the pod is slim and tender you will find that the pod becomes fibrous and stringy.

Beans tend to be inbreeders.  Seed savers often save their own favorite variety of pole beans because allowing the beans to mature on the vines at the end of the season and the pods to dry brown is so easy to do.