Runner Beans 2020 Growth Chart Experiment

Sunday 8th March 2020

Today we have been thinking about where to plant the runner beans in the garden this year. Until a few weeks ago we had a tall 8ft evergreen hedge between our garden and our next door neighbours. This has now been reduced in height to about 2ft just in time before the birds start nesting. Next year we’ll probably take it out completely and replant it with something more manageable and in keeping with the surrounding countryside. Taking this hedge out has really benefited the light in the garden, it was blocking the sun for a large part of the day. This has therefore made it possible to use more of the garden for sun loving plants and gives us more places we can plant our runner beans this year. 

This weekend we started a new bed in an area which had previously been a dark shaded corner of the garden. The first section of this we are using for fruit and have planned out today raspberry canes and gooseberry. We’ve got to order some poles now and build a cage around these to protect the fruit and strawberries  from the birds.

The plan now is to extend the bed to give us a new more sheltered site for this years runner beans. You will have seen in previous years we’ve planted the runners in rich soil on the border of our plot overlooking the farm next door. This has had very mixed results, and generally poor with the beans being eaten slugs or affected by crop spraying or otherwise being stressed by the exposed position. In contrast the beans planted in raised beds just a few meters away at a lower level in the garden seem to thrive. 

Over the next few weeks we will prepare the bed for the runners. We want to use this bed for several years to come so we are going to invest in some good posts and build some good support for the beans. 

Saturday 7th March 2020

Today has been a bright, sunny but cold and windy day but still warm enough to get out into the garden. It’s been the first weekend for several weeks we’ve felt like doing this. It’s got us really thinking about the vegetables we’ll be growing over the spring and summer months.

A couple of weeks ago when it was too cold to actually get out in the garden we paid a visit to one of our local garden centres and bought some runner bean seeds.

We look at lots of different varieties of runner beans but couldn’t make up our minds which ones would be right for us to grow. We then spotted this variety pack from Suttons Seeds. In one pack they have 3 different varieties. They are Firestorm, Tenderstar and Moonlight. 



The instructions are to sow them in April, May and start of June and plant out in June with harvest from July to October.

They claim on the packet we’ll have lots of tender, stringless pods, high yields all summer and attractive red and pink flower.

We’ll keep our usual detail log by updating this page on a regular basis through 2020.

We paid £2.99 for these are the garden centre but you can find them online at B&Q currently for just 50p – click here.

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Linda Garrould

High View, Wreningham, Norfolk,
NR16 1BH

Family Friendly, weekends, holidays, gardening and cookery