Date Height Yield
May 21st 2019 110mm n/a
May 20th 2019 100mm n/a
May 16th 2019 79mm n/a
May 15th 2019 75mm n/a
May 14th 2019 70mm n/a
May 13th 2019 60mm n/a

Sunday, May 12th 2019
Today, 20 days after sowing the runner bean seeds they have reached a height of 4cms. The weather last week was awful, not getting over single digits and with a light frost several nights. The weather for the coming week is expected to be much nicer reaching 13c or 14c most days. We, therefore, expect the growth to accelerate this week. It’s worth noting that in 2018 the beans grew 11cms in the first 8 days, so growth is much slower this year.

Wednesday, May 8th 2019
Today, 16 days after we planted the seeds on Easter Monday the first runner bean has germinated and has started poking through the soil. We’ll continue to watch each day and see how the rest germinate. We’ve had the seeds in an unheated greenhouse. Normally they should take about 10 days to germinate so we think the delay is due to the colder weather we have had since Easter.

Easter Monday, April 22nd 2019
Today we planted our runner bean seeds. This year instead of using plastic pots we thought we would try toilet rolls as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic pots. Many people also report that using toilet rolls for seeds is better for the plants as you can just plant out the whole roll which will eventually rot down without disturbing the roots.

Runner beans should germinate in about a week, so we’ll report back next weekend on the progress.


We used toilet rolls to grow our runner bean seeds this year – here they are before we covered the beans with potting compost.

Also in this weeks Gardeners’ World Monty Don suggested putting up your bean sticks this weekend. It’s way to early to plant out your runners yet but it’s a good sign of your intent for thhe rest of the year and certainly it’s a lot easier to get the poles into the ground now while it’s moist rather than in a few weeks time when the ground is a lot harder.

Above you can see the bean poles we’ll use this year for our runner beans. Earlier in the day we had dug a deep hole and filled it with well-rotted compost and horse manure.

Tip: If you can plan ahead through winter, you can dig a pit or trench for your beans and fill it with manure and vegetation to be composted and then backfill with soil a few weeks before planting out your beans.

You may also be interested in my runner bean blogs from previous years:

Runner Beans 2018

Runner Beans 2017