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Runner Beans

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I include Runner Beans merely to be complete, knowing that at some time I will have to try them - if only to see why everybody else puts so much effort into them.
* Runner Beans need a soil which was dug in autumn, well-manured, and limed in winter.   Pick a sheltered spot where the shade cast by the plants will not be a problem.
* Sow seed about 2 inches deep, 9 inches apart, in rows 18 inches apart; push sturdy 8 foot poles/canes firmly in at each seed, and tie a cross bar along the top - the usual "A" frame.   Alternatively, sow and pole to make a wigwam shape.
* Loosely tie young plants to supports - they will soon climb naturally.   When the plants have reached the top of the frame, pinch out the growing tip.
* Keep the bean weed-free; they will need regular watering when the weather is dry and the pods have started forming.
* Pick regularly, every couple of days, as soon as the pods reach a reasonable size, before the beans start to swell - 6 to 8 inches long.   You will need to remove all the pods which reach this stage, whether you can use them or not.   If you allow even a couple of pods to mature, the plants will stop producing new pods.
* You will have a glut of beans
* freeze some;
* salt some (alternate layers of 3 lb of beans, with 1 lb of salt);
* or dry the pods, shell and dry the beans, and use as haricots through the winter.


 

 

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