How to Grow BEANS
Beans are often categorized by two sets of criteria: type of growth and stage at which they're usually picked and eaten. The plants can grow either as bush or pole type beans, and are also categorized as snap, shell and dry (Drying), depending on degree of development at time of harvest. All beans are easy to grow, and all need the same growing conditions - the prime one being plenty of warmth.
8 to 10 days, 70F to 80F
well-drained, slightly acidic
1" to 2" apart
3" to 4" apart
DAYS OF HARVEST
60 to 100
It is a suggested that you earmark a couple of plants at the beginning of the season for seed saving. Don't pick ANY pods from them to eat - just pick the crisp brown pods at the end of the season. Don't feed them, or water them unless it is very dry - as this can encourage leafy growth rather than pod development. There is no point in picking green pods as the seeds are not mature enough at this stage.
Did you know you can save the roots, overwinter in a frost-free place, and replant next year? Runner beans are perennial, but are frost sensitive, so die back in our climate. However, if the roots are dug up and kept in suitable conditions, the plants often get away early and crop faster. If you grow a lot of beans, this may not be a practical option, but you could try it with one or two plants perhaps. Store the roots in a frost-free place, buried in slightly moist sand or leafmould, or something similar.
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