KEY TO LENGTHY RUNNER BEAN HARVEST IS PICK EVERY TWO DAYS – 4th wk in August 2013

Runner bean plants in flower out growing the sunflower. The most generous of plants which suits the smallest of growing spaces.

Runner bean plants in flower out growing the sunflower. The most generous of plants which suits the smallest of growing spaces.

The low slug population after that really cold and long winter, which destroyed millions of slug eggs in the soil, was a great boost to vegetable growing this summer. However, the runner bean plants did not entirely escape slug predation, but in the end there was a bumper crop. The runner bean seedlings planted nearer the pond in the shadow of hedging succumbed to night-time slug attacks. On the other hand, the plants in full sun grew quickly and the stems soon became too tough for any slug teeth.

The beautiful runner bean flowers are day by day transformed into pendulous tender bean pods. Regular picking before the pods get too big and tough ensures the flavours are delicious and the pod does not become fibrous. It is amazing that this delicious vegetable is not grown commercially in any shops near where I live. I know Sonairte in Laytown sells organically grown runner beans at the Dublin Food Co-Op each Saturday in Newmarket Square, Dublin 8. That being said, as a GIY-er, runner beans are among the most decorative and delicious vegetables to grow. Another attraction is that, once supported by twigs, canes or string, they grow tall with a very small footprint. In other words, runner beans fit into even the most bijou garden and I’ve seen them grow well, with regular watering,  in a pot on a sunny balcony too.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Brendan Byrne on August 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks Trevor,Very good tip to pick runner beans every 2 days.
    Sheeps wool pellets are a great deterrant for slugs.

    Reply

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