Each year I try to grow something different and as I’d been given a packet of runner bean seeds the subject of my experiment was self selected. A few years ago I’d tried growing them in the polytunnel – beautiful plants and a mass of flowers, alas no beans.
Fortuitously there was room in the fruit cage and although I was probably a little late in planting and I’d not prepared a well-manured bean trench in advance, the results were surprisingly good.
As my broad bean flowers had not been pollinated I was not too confident that we would actually get any beans, but we did get a small crop. I was also surprised how well the plants stood up to the windy weather – they’re still flowering and producing a few beans!
So I am encouraged to try again next year, although I might look for a dwarf variety or perhaps try some climbing French or even borlotti beans. Runner beans were originally grown for their flowers and that is probably a good enough reason to continue to grow a few plants each year.