Growing our runner beans

We always start our runner beans off in the cardboard tubes that are the inside of a toilet roll or kitchen roll.  This means you don’t have to disturb the roots when planting out.  Not having a greenhouse yet I started mine off on the windowsill of the lounge, where they got the afternoon sunshine. This is what they looked like 2 weeks ago when the first beans started sprouting.


It wasn’t long before we saw more growth:-


By the time a week had passed they were all growing strongly:-


It’s been gloriously sunny all week here, so I’ve not wanted to plant them out in the heat of the day.  We waited until Thursday evening when the sun had gone down and planted into the beds.  This year we are trying the “no dig” approach, so the ground is covered with cardboard to stop the weeds growing through, and we just made a hole big enough for each tube by each cane.


Now we have to wait for them to climb the poles and to produce some beans.  We always do well with beans, they are easy to grow and pretty fast too, so with the warm weather we have been having we should see some results before too long.  Let’s hope the cardboard does the trick with the weeds.  It will eventually break down, but should last the season.

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  1. Great idea and a great way to recycle those toilet paper rolls.

  2. Nikitaland said

    I have never seen this idea before, very interesting! Good looking beans! You make me want to try pole beans next year! About how many beans do you get from one plant?

    • I really don’t know how many you get from one plant. quite a lot, we always end up eating them with every meal and giving them away. I even posted some to my Dad last year!! It’s a worthwhile crop. I love them fresh.

  3. My attempt at using toilet rolls was a disaster. They somehow managed to both dry out and get soggy and rotten (I clearly have an unrecognised talent). Maybe I should give it another try, this looks like a huge success for you. Well done.

    • Yes they do dry out quickly and you need to be on top of the watering, and we had one or two that fell apart before we put them in, but on the whole they stayed in one piece.

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