Bean Feast

Nutritious, fast growing, and with attractive flowers and lush foliage, climbing beans are easy to grow from seeds and perfect for planting in pots for an edible container garden or to decorate an entrance.

TIME IT RIGHT Sow seeds indoors from mid-spring or outdoors in late spring. Beans are frost sensitive so only plant outside once all frost is past.

You can expect to be harvesting 3 months after sowing.


climbing green bean ‘Pencil Pod Black Wax’

Italian climbing bean ‘Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco’ runner bean ‘Enorma’


To get your beans off to an early start, sow seeds 2in (5cm) deep from mid-spring in individual containers filled with potting mix. Water well and keep them indoors or in a greenhouse (see pp. 132-37 for early sowing instructions). The seeds need warmth to germinate.

1 You need to acclimatize tender ‘ seedlings in late spring before planting out. Place in a sheltered spot outside for a while during the day, but bring inside at night.

Care Advice

Where to Site Beans like

but sheltered site, however they will also

do well in partial shade.

Watering and feeding Beans

need plenty of moisture to produce a good crop, so water them regularly and frequently, especially in warmer weather, and daily in very hot weather. Never let the potting mix dry out. They need lots of food, too. Add liquid fertilizer, such as tomato feed or kelp extract once a week when flowers appear.

General care Pinch off the

tips of plants once they reach the top of the poles, since this encourages a larger yield and keeps the tops of the plants less congested. Pick beans every 2-3 days to encourage more pods to form.

Italian climbing bean ‘Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco’ has attractive red-and-green striped pods. Beans can be picked young or left to dry and stored for later.

Runner bean ‘Enorma’ produces attractive red flowers followed by long, tasty pods throughout summer and into early fall.

Brightly Painted

Updated: October 9, 2015 — 11:46 am