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.

Cultivars and varieties:

Phaseolus coccineus 'Celebration' - pink flowers

Phaseolus coccineus 'Firestorm' - A stringless, easy to grow bean. Similar to a french bean if picked when young.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Moonlight'

Phaseolus coccineus 'Red Rum' - bright, scarlet flowers with tender, long beans.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Scarlet Emperor'

Phaseolus coccineus 'St George' - red and white flowers.

Phaseolus coccineus 'Stardust' - White flowers with tender, stringless beans

Seeds to plant now:

Indoor or in a heated greenhouse

Cress

Lettuce

Ornamental pepper

Outside

Ageratum

Alpine poppy

Alyssum

Antwerp hollyhock, Fig-leaved hollyhock, Hollyhock

Aubretia, Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Bristly hollyhock

Brussels sprout

Cabbage

Carrot

Cauliflower

Common hollyhock

Cress

Floss flower, Ageratum

Hollyhock

Larkspur

Lettuce

Normandy sorrel

Onion

Radish

Spinach

Spring onion

Swiss chard, Ruby chard, Rhubard chard

Turnip

Outside under cover

Cauliflower

Lettuce