Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

Growing Beans - climbing, also Pole beans, Runner beans, Scarlet Runners

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec

(Best months for growing Beans - climbing in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 9-11 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Sweetcorn, spinach, lettuce, summer savory, dill, carrots, brassicas, beets, radish, strawberry, cucumbers, zucchini, tagates minuta (wild marigold)
  • Avoid growing close to: Alliums (Chives, leek, garlic, onions), Florence fennel
  • A few young Scarlet Runners
    A few young Scarlet Runners
  • Purple climbing beans
    Purple climbing beans

Grow beans up fences, trellis, sweet corn, trees. Almost anywhere can be 'vertically productive'.

Keep well watered and pick regularly to encourage new flowers. Watch out for snails, as they will eat through the stems near ground level, and will completely eat newly sprouted beans. If you have nice new beans plants one day, and none the next, then it is probably slugs or snails.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beans - climbing

Use young in salads - blanch and cool. Will freeze well.

Your comments and tips

12 Oct 17, Jill Farr (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I grew Scarlet Runner beans last year and while the plants grew well, they didn't grow any beans on them! I was surprised as I have grown them before many times and never had this problem. I am about to plant some for this season, but am keen to receive any ideas about what I could do to ensure getting a good crop.
13 Sep 17, PETER B HART (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Please can anyone in your organisation assist and guide me. I live in Sydney Australia. I am looking for information on vegie plants and herbs. I have a lot of time as a retired person. I also have space to grow vegies. However for the last two years I have failed. Along the brustic fences I have prepared beds of 1.5 mtrs x 6 mtrs. Good super soil as called by the supplier, was put in to the beds for a depth of a foot. I also have my own compost bins and put in a lot of effort in mixing etc through the year. So this compost of 40 : 1 Brown and Gtreen matter, is also added. the plants start well and for all the effort i get about 3 cucumbers and other beans, Oakra, capsicums etc grow halfway and then die. Presently in spring they get partial sunlight, but not a lot of direct sunlight. Could the neighboring tree roots be responsible for this problem. I love my gardening and spend at least 4 hours or more a day. PLeeeeese can anyone help me or can I talk to someone. A Horticulturalist might help me. Thank you so much in anticipation. Warm regards Peter
14 Oct 17, christiaan (Australia - temperate climate)
hi peter - sounds like your plants might not be getting enough sun. If you are trying to grow things like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchinis bean etc, they typically need at least 6 hours direct sunlight in Sydney. Unfortunately, there's not often much you can do to rectify this, other than moving the bed. Some veggies will grow with less sunlight, including green leafy veg like basil, rocket and some lettuces. But the growth rate will probably be fairly slow Sorry, I realise theres not much good news here
17 Sep 17, Margaret (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Peter, I have had a similar problem with tree roots invading my vege beds. I put so much effort into making my soil rich and friable and next door's Pittosporum trees enjoy it all!!!! I have 4 raised vege beds and I have had some success with digging out all the soil, lining the bed with weed matting and then replacing the soil. It was very hard work though, so I have only done 2 beds so far. It has worked reasonably well, so I plan to do the other 2 beds this year. Another option is to grow all your veges in pots, so the tree roots don't invade. Good luck.
14 Sep 17, lorraine (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Peter. How frustrating for you. I, too, love my garden, especially growing food crops and harvesting the produce. It is hard to know your circumstances without more information about your site. The roots of neighbours trees can be problematic, sucking out much of the moisture and nutrients, especially during the hot weather. I keep my veg beds 1-2 metres away from the boundary fences, and thoroughly dig over the beds closest to the fences and neighbouring trees prior to planting, to break up the invading tree roots, which helps for a while, but come late summer, I have to abandon at least one bed as the plants become water-stressed. It is not uncommon to have one particular crop fail in any particular year because of the vagaries of the season, but you should be able to still harvest others. Are you able to grow leafy greens? and what about winter crops? Lorraine
14 Sep 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Each different area of Australia has its particular requirements to be successful. This info is generalized for growing veggies. 1. All day direct sun is best - things just don't grow without it. 2. Good soil and replenish with compost or manures etc. each year. Give your soil a break from crops for a few months each year and add the compost and work it in. Dig it over a few times. 3 Regular watering - small plants - light, regular watering - bigger plants - fewer waterings but more volume of water. Then you need to know which plants to plant each season. I plant beans in April and the bean fly kills the young plants. I planted about 2 1/2 mths ago and have great plants now - just starting to pick them now. I have trouble with Zucchini and Capsicums some times of the year. Capsicums need a certain temperature to pollinate I recently read. I have trouble with my Zucchinis - no bees to pollinate. I am doing it by hand at the moment. Next year I'm going to plant some flowers in my other gardens to attract the bees. I explained in a post the other day to go to The Seed Collection website and print off the Sowing Chart. It is a guide for different climates. Go on the internet and type in "How to grow ------" and read up about it. Look for Australian websites. Gardening Australia etc. Look up seed selling companies and read about how and when to grow different veggies. I'm going on a holiday tomorrow for 2 weeks - will have my computer with me. Email me if you like. [email protected] When I come home we can talk on the phone.
18 Jun 17, Merv (Australia - temperate climate)
After the growing season do I have to wait until the vine turn brown before cutting them down
19 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
As soon as you have picked all the beans you can pull them down or let them die off if you want to. A suggestion either way you do it, put them on the lawn and run over them with the lawn mower - will chop them up into small pieces. Use as a mulch or compost them.
21 May 17, Lynne Corkin (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi I am revamping my scarlet runner frame this year. I also have a fig tree which I would like to espalier on the same frame. Would they survive together?
22 May 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
The competition for water and nutrients between a fig tree and scarlet runner beans would be very strong, the fig being the likely winner as it would have the stronger root system. If you could keep up the nutrients and water it might work.
Showing 1 - 10 of 131 comments

Runner beans are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from other climbing beans, pole beans etc, I have recently moved from London to New York, where I have yet to meet anyone who knows what I'm talking about. Does anyone grow or sell them? Perhaps they are incredibly difficult. I understand they don't like heat. As far as i can see there are no slugs and snails here, since there are no holes in hostas. Perhaps I could even grow a lupin!!!

- Jo Foster

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support Gardenate

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on Gardenate. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.