Runner bean - Phaseolus coccineus

A great, easy to grow, vegetable plant, even if growing on the smallest plot, they climb upwards using up very little space. Sow directly outside, in mid-May, by pushing seeds an inch deep into well prepared soil, or start off in pots, in early May, and plant outside once the first leaves have unfurlled. If growing up poles arranged as a wigwam or teepee, they can be underplanted with a marrow, courgette or pumpkin.

Suggested sowing time:


(Key: sow indoors,   sow outside,   sow outside under cover.)

Culinary use:

Pick the beans when they are small, left on the plant they will get tough and stringy. Leaving beans on the plant will also reduce the number of future flowers the plant produces.

Varieties:

'Celebration' - pink flowers
'Firestorm' - A stringless, easy to grow bean. Similar to a french bean if picked when young.
'Red Rum' - bright, scarlet flowers with tender, long beans.
'Scarlet Emperor'
'St George' - red and white flowers.
'Stardust' - White flowers with tender, stringless beans

Seeds to plant now:

Indoors or in a heated greenhouse

Coriander

Cress

Forget-me-not

Ornamental pepper

Sunflower

Outside

Alpine wallflower

Alyssum

Amaranthus

Basil

Beetroot

Cabbage

Campanula

Cardoon

Carrot

Courgette

Cress

Double daisy

Foxglove

Honesty

Kohl rabi

Lettuce

Marrow

Pansy

Radish

Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Runner bean

Spinach

Spring onion

Sweet William

Swiss chard

Turnip

Wallflower

Outside under cover

Cucumber