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

Cress

Lettuce

Ornamental pepper

Outside

Ageratum

Alpine poppy

Alyssum

Brussels sprout

Cabbage

Carrot

Cauliflower

Cress

Hollyhock

Larkspur

Lettuce

Normandy sorrel

Onion

Radish

Rock cress, Aubrieta, Aubrietia

Spinach

Spring cabbage

Spring onion

Swiss chard

Outside under cover

Cauliflower

Lettuce