Seeds can be started indoors, or sowed directly. Set seeds 7-10cm (3-4″) apart and 3.5cm (1½”) deep at the base of a support. Plants will climb by twining around almost anything. Try rough poles, lumber, re-bar, or build a strong trellis 2-2.5m (6-8′) tall. Seeds will sprout in 8-16 days, depending on soil conditions.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.5.Well drained, warm soil in full sun is best. Use 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer for every 3m (10′) of row. Too much nitrogen in fertilizer or manure may cause poor pod set and delayed maturity. If beans flower but do not set pods, the cause can be zinc deficiency. Try spraying the plants with kelp based fertilizer.
Beans can be picked when plump-looking. You may dry beans to preserve them, or cook them soon after harvesting. You must ensure that you cook these beans thoroughly; raw runner beans contain lectin, a toxin that is removed by the cooking process.
Diseases & Pests
Wet leaves on crowded plants are subject to diseases. Thin plants to increase air circulation and avoid touching the leaves while they are wet.
Beans fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions. Pole beans and beets stunt each other’s growth.
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