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
  • 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

03 Dec 21, Greg (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Does that include just planting seeds right now? I have heard that too - too much water can rot the seed too. I'm planting dwarf, yellow wax.
30 Nov 21, Andrew (New Zealand - temperate climate)
When Scarlett Runner beans get to the top of the frames they tend to drop down to find somewhere to attach. They get really quite top heavy and dark. Can you snip off the top once they go over. By the way we get huge amounts of beans. Also Butter Bean do extremely well here in the BOP
30 Nov 21, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
You can safely snip off your scarlet runners when they reach the top of the frames. They will produce more shoots lower down.
21 Nov 21, Steve (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live on sunshine coast and was wondering can I plant corn, sweet potatoes and bean in the same patch. So that the bean grow up the corn with the sweet potatoes under neath
23 Nov 21, Anonymous (Australia - temperate climate)
Beans do not require a lot of fertiliser. Corn and sweet potatoes do require a good fertilising. Just my opinion but I'm not a believer in mixing crops together. I think because of the fertiliser and sun requirements it would produce inferior crops. At the moment I have 7 rows of corn 60cm apart, they are 1.8m high. I would like to see how beans and sweet potatoes would have grown in that corn. The beans and sweet potato would have taken a lot of fertiliser and water and the corn crop wouldn't be as good as it is.
15 Jul 21, VJ Pertzel (Australia - tropical climate)
Are there any beanfly resistant beans? It is so disappointing to keep losing our bean crops!
21 Jul 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I only grow them in the spring time - no bugs then.
18 Jun 21, Barker (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I’m in zone 8b and my pole beans grow like mad so I’ve never had problems with my soil and it’s mostly cow pasture about 30 years ago in other words there’s nothing in it only what I put in it. I started some raised garden beds with rich top soil and I planted small amount of seeds basically what I planted in the big garden except for a few. My pole beans were over 7 years old along with some of the other seeds but I used them to. Before you plant your beans check them out if you see a tiny little hole in it they will not grow. I soak my beans for 20 minutes before hand planting
23 Jun 21, Anonymous (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Soak over night - up to 12 hours then plant.
16 Feb 21, Tom ( Queensland - sub tropical climate ) (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have been told that SCARLET RUNNER beans, will usually fail to flower and fruit in my sub-tropical Brisbane location, presumably owing to temperatures and humidity. If this is correct for usual planting times, so should I try growing them in our Autumn and Winter period ?
Showing 1 - 10 of 239 comments

I have some Purple King, first time with these, and they are climbing up the frame very well. I had a suggestion to pinch of the top to encourage them to spread sideways. Is this a good idea? If they keep going, now over 2 m high, I will have to train the leaders dideways or down as they will have run out of support. Cheers.

- Kenneth Daunt

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