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

Phaseolus vulgaris, Phaseolus coccineus : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

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 16°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 10 - 20 cm 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
  • 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

15 Mar 09, marg (Australia - tropical climate)
I have snake climbing beans all up side of fernhouse and very healthy........but no beans. Put potash on a few days ago. Have been mulched and well watered , with some seaweed fertilizer.
12 Apr 09, mickey (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
we are growing purple climbers but bugs have taken over with lava growing inside the stems,can anyone help...
13 Apr 09, Cris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Grubs are garbage collecters. You are missing a nutrient or the beans are not in the right climate, etc. Are you using town(poison) water? I found that just getting the minerals up with that balck coal ash they sell for drainage works well. I use sea minerals, fish, etc. as well now. Have very few problems. Any step you make towards better plant health will up the resistance to pests. Read "Science in Agriiculture" by Arden Andersen if you want to find out more. Cheers Cris
04 Jan 10, Lean Lim (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Help! My scarlet runner beans are producing lots of flowers but no beans. Why are the beans not forming?
05 Jan 10, Kate (Australia - temperate climate)
Scarlet runner beans will only set when it is cool.... any heat at all will make lots of beautiful flowers but no beans. They will set beans in early autumn but always insist on coming up and flowering too early. Next year try covering them with very thick mulch to keep the soil cool so they come up later.
23 Apr 16, Vivienne (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
The answer for pod set on scarlet runners is to use a fine mist of water on the flowers in the early morning or evening. This works a treat and you will end up with a glut.
15 Jan 10, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Can I plant scarlet runner plants now , I live in hobart , tas
22 Jan 10, Gladys Cutajar (Australia - temperate climate)
Can anyone tell me how to freeze beans properly. Mine seem to be really soggy when I cook them. I don't blanch them and cook in only a small amount of water.
15 Feb 10, David Rickertt (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Can someone tell what gaudia beans like in the way of water & fertiziler i am growing them but don't know a lot about them david R
02 Apr 10, Lynne Brogan (Australia - temperate climate)
Scarlet Runner beans are perennial (3 to 4 years but loosing vigour each year). Do I let them die back or cut them back after they have finished bearing, and if I cut them back,how close to the ground do I cut them. back to ground level
Showing 1 - 10 of 249 comments

Beans fix their own nitrogen, which if you like to companion plant (and some people do), the beans don't compete for the nitrogen. Some studies indicate the the beans assist (perk) the other plants by giving them nitrogen WITHOUT over supplying nitrogen - and too much nitrogen can be a problem for some plants (corn in particular). The standard North American Indian Three sisters planting is: Corn, beans and squash. This combination dates back ........ probably centuries and it has been around a long time for good reason: Corn is actually fairly WEAK rooted when young; corn can uprooted fairly easily when it starts growing. Squash on the other hand is a rooting power house. The squash stabilizes the corn. The squash with it's large leaves ALSO shades the soil (all plants that I know of like shaded soil, keeping their roots cooler -- even full sun plants want shaded soil). The beans then scamper up the corn, and perk the corn and squash with nitrogen. What your asking is can I take this classic all time threesome and substitute sweet potatoes for the squash. I really can't see a reason why you could not. It sounds reasonable. Further more Blistering on sweet potatoes can be prevented by adding Borax to soil - and corn loves boron (boron gives corn not only better tassels but better yields). Additionally, both corn and sweet potatoes need and love potassium. So when I think about it... it sounds like a really good combination. Best of Luck.

- Celeste Archer

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