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

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

(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

02 Jul 11, Jo Foster (USA - Zone 5a climate)
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!!!
18 Jun 17, Terrie (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Are you still out there Jo? Did you find any runner beans? What is a runner bean? I love to learn about new things.
08 Sep 18, Nell (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Hi Jo, We have several varieties of Runners here in the US (including white half runner and pink half runner) that are usually dried then stored for over winter use. Maybe they are just more common in the mid-southern area of the US? The are my personal favorite bean. We absolutely have snails (smaller than you are used to ,I am sure) and slugs here, but it is drier here than London so they hide under rock and underground until it rains, or you can find them early in the morning if you have a heavy dew on.
06 Oct 20, Cynthia M LePere (USA - Zone 8a climate)
There is also the Scarlet Runner Bean.
03 Dec 16, Paul A'Barge (USA - Zone 8b climate)
I have had zero luck with climbing beans in zone 8B. I buy the seeds from a local greenhouse/starter and plant - diddly comes up. Next year I am going to start seeds in starter pots and I will transplant those that show up and are healthy. I think the seller of the seeds does not want to bother starting seeds and so keeps old seed around to sell to people who want climbing beans, aka rip off.
10 Aug 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9a climate)
The secret to germinating bean seeds is to plant at the right time, soil temperature that is. Prepare your soil and give it a good wetting. 2-3 days later plant the bean seeds. Give a light watering after planting and then DO NOT WATER AGAIN FOR 4-5 DAYS especially in hot weather. Then just give it a light watering. OVER WATERING WILL CAUSE THE SEEDS TO GO ROTTEN.
09 Feb 21, McDaniel (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Can you start pole beans inside instead of outside. My ground not ready yet
15 Feb 21, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
You have to be very careful growing seedlings indoors. New seedlings chase the sunlight and become very long (leggy) and thin stalked and therefore weak. Easy to snap the stalk. I germinate seed under shade cloth part day in sun, part day in shade. Two days after germination I take the shade cloth off. I move the table to vary the hours of sunlight and shade depending on how small/big seedlings are and what the temperature is.
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

I have had zero luck with climbing beans in zone 8B. I buy the seeds from a local greenhouse/starter and plant - diddly comes up. Next year I am going to start seeds in starter pots and I will transplant those that show up and are healthy. I think the seller of the seeds does not want to bother starting seeds and so keeps old seed around to sell to people who want climbing beans, aka rip off.

- Paul A'Barge

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