Posts Tagged runner beans

Starting the runner beans off indoors

Although we have a big garden we do not yet have a greenhouse or a polytunnel, they are on my wish list!! So when I  sow my runner beans I always have to do it indoors.  I save up all the cardboard inners from toilet and kitchen rolls, cut the kitchen roll inners into two to make the right size and fill them with grow bag compost.  I place two runner bean seeds into each tube, add a little more compost and water.  I then placed the tubes on our new kitchen window sills which place West so catch the afternoon/evening sun.DSC00159

This is what they look like after 11 days growing on the window sills.

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When the plants are about a foot tall I will put them outside into the ground.  I plant the whole tube by each bean pole thus not disturbing the roots and giving the plants a fighting chance against the slugs that would have the growing tips off in an instant.

We have found this method to be very successful over the past few years, hence repeating it this year.

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French beans outwit the deer

This year, as well as runner bean I planted a dedicated line of climbing French beans alongside bean poles.   Unfortunately some deer got in and munched all the emerging shoots of the beans and stopped them from climbing up the bean poles.  But Mother Nature is so clever!  What did the French beans do?  They produced all their beans really low down on the bit of plant that was still alive.

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And some of the beans are really long, about 7 or 8 inches, much longer than you see in the supermarkets.

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I think its pretty clever that all the bean pods have grown at the bottom!  I thought our crop had been ruined, but not so!!

Also today I picked the first of our runner beans.  They were similarly munched by the deer but managed to put out other shoots and still climb up the bean poles.

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Our sweetcorn are coming on nicely too.  I think it is all the lovely sunshine we have been having lately

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I have also been picking the courgettes (zucchini) and let one or two of them grow really large into marrows to cut up for the chickens.  It’s going to be a bumper year for all our crops this year.

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Growing our runner beans and an update on the veggie garden

We don’t have a greenhouse yet and we do suffer from slugs and snails here as we have had such a wet Winter, so I start off our runner beans indoors in the inside of loo roll tubes.

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We end up with seeds growing on all the window ledges in the house.

After a couple of weeks they have started to sprout.

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And when they are 8 to 12 inches tall I put them outside.  By putting the whole tube into the ground it gives the beans  some protection against the slugs and snails, and gives them a fighting chance.

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I tie each little bean plant up to its bean cane so it doesn’t get blown around in the wind.  This year as part of our “no dig” experiment we have laid newspapers down around the bean poles to deter the weeds.

After 10 days or so they are already climbing the bean poles, so a success.  Just need to wait another month now before they produce some lovely beans for us.

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Our other veggies are growing well too.  Here are our peas climbing up their pea sticks.

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And our cabbages growing in their shrouds to protect them from pigeons and cabbage white butterflies.

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This year we spread grass clippings around the potatoes and onions as mulch and again to deter the weeds.

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The sweet corn are still small, they need some more sunshine to boost their growth.

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We shall have a bumper crop of strawberries this year

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And the gooseberries are already forming on the bushes

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We are also growing lettuce, tomatoes, courgettes, radish, chard, parsnips, carrots, turnips and purple sprouting broccoli so we should have lots of lovely veggies if everything grows OK.

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Lovely Runner Beans

Our runner beans are plentiful and we do so love them. I went picking this afternoon and picked loads.

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We are having them for dinner every night, but we don’t mind as we love to eat fresh and in season, they don’t taste the same if you freeze them.

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We have enough to share with neighbours and friends and in turn they supply us with some things we can’t grow as we don’t have a greenhouse yet.

We still have some vacancies in the B&B in September so contact us for more details.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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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Taking down the runner beans

Over the weekend we had a couple of clear days so decided it was time to take down the runner bean plants.  The leaves had started dying back and there were no more viable beans to pick, so we started to untie the bean poles and pull up all the plants and add them to the compost heap.

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I managed to pick a whole trug full of big beans that we will dry out for their bean seeds, which can then be planted next year.

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I also picked our sweetcorn, that hadn’t really riped well enough this year, just not enough sunshine.  I shall cook this up for the chickens, they will enjoy it.

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Having pulled up all the runner bean and sweetcorn plants we then had to weed the 2 vegetable beds that had contained them.  The soil was wet and claggy so not a nice job, but we got it done.  We then added horse poo to the beds, raked that in, covered them with newspaper and then black weed suppressant sheet, so they are bedded down for the winter.

over wintering vegetable beds

The beans we had picked were too tough to eat so they are drying in front of the woodburner so we can harvest the seeds.

Beans drying

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Simple pleasures – homegrown and homemade

During a brief respite in the rain (it has poured here for 2 days solid), I managed to get out and pick runner beans.  The beans love the rain and have been growing like mad.

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We have so many beans I am taking some to a friend tonight and I have already posted some to my Dad!!

I also noticed that our second row of peas have started to swell in the wet weather, so I picked some today, just enough for tonight’s dinner.

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Whilst I was out picking veggies, my little cakes were baking in the oven.  I just used one egg, weighed it, and used equal quantities of butter, castor sugar and flour, then added ginger powder and sultanas.  Really simple little cakes that only take 18 minutes at 200 degrees C to cook.

Little ginger and sultana cakes

We’ve just had a cup of tea and a little cake still warm, lovely.  So simple pleasures for a wet weekend.  Now I must go and get on with some ironing, not such a pleasure!!

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