How to grow the best runner beans | Alys Fowler

We love runner beans so much in the UK that there has been endless breeding, says our gardening expert

Runner beans like it rich and deep. Their feet like to run through the soil finding the good stuff. If you want tender beans you need at least 38cm of topsoil or compost before you hit any sort of compaction and a good layer of mulch to keep their feet well fed and wet through the growing season.

Space plants 15cm apart with 45cm between rows. You need a further 1.5m between double rows. If you’ve limited space, use a wigwam. Runner beans grow up to 3m tall, so the support needs to be strong enough to take all that leaf and bean weight in the wind.

Related: How to grow perfect turnips | Alys Fowler

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