Growing Tips: Scarlet Runner Bean

Quick Reference:

Annual, a plant that completes it’s life cycle in one season. Cover seed with 1/4 inch soil spaced 3 to 4 inches apart. Germinates in 8-15 days with an optimum soil temperature of 70 degrees F. Ideal seed spacing in the garden is 3 to 6 inches apart. Plant height: Climbing plants that grow to 36 to 42 inches tall.

When and where to plant:

Beans like a warm soil and in Alaska grow best when planted next to the south side of a warm house or by using a soil warming technique like raised beds or planting on a mound. Choose a warm, sunny location with a sandy, well drained soil, cultivate, enrich with plant food and smooth the soil surface with a rake to prepare for planting. Soak the seed in warm water for 24 hours immediately before planting, NO LONGER, to speed germination, plant seed shallow, firm soil over seed and keep the soil moist until seedlings emerge. For earlier bloom, start seed indoors 4 or 5 weeks ahead in individual plastic pots, plant 1 or 2 seeds per pot, grow in a sunny location and transplant outdoors, being careful not disturb the roots, after the last frost.

Care:

Support runner beans with stout poles, a trellis, string, or wire. To reduce the danger of disease, water by soaking soil, to keep the foliage dry. Apply plant food 4 weeks after the plants are up.

Harvesting:

Pick regularly when pods are 6-8", best when harvested before sides of the pod start to bulge.