Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: The runner bean  (Read 2480 times)

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
The runner bean
« on: June 01, 2014, 10:25:35 pm »
Many years ago I amused myself writing a short story called the beanstalk diaries. During some basic research I discovered the humble runner bean is not so humble - this might be of interest to some.

In Canada the runner bean flower is used in salads. In north america they tend to grow the runner bean for the beans rather than pods where it's too cold to grow lima beans..and use the runner beans in lima bean recipes. In california they often grow the runner bean as an ornamental climbing flower.

And finally in parts of central america it's grown as a root vegetable where a much longer growing season gives it a way bigger root. Note it's apparently possible to lift and store the roots and regrow from those next year - although I've never tried it. When I did lift roots with a view to that and eating them some nasties had been chewing at them and i didn't fancy it.

But with the variety of flower colours they do add interest to salads.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: The runner bean
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2014, 10:33:08 pm »
Thank you pgkevet for that.  Keeping the roots over until the following year to regrow does work if they're in a polytunnel.  Currently I have half a dozen regrowing roots popping up where the beans were last year, but I know from past experience that the plants will not be anything like as good as newly grown ones, being later and tending to grow several spindly stalks rather than one sturdy one.  I haven't tried eating them.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: The runner bean
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2014, 10:38:26 pm »
Thanks for that. Have you tried pruning back to one main stalk to see if that helps?

cloddopper

  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: The runner bean
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2014, 02:30:48 am »
Not only do they put atmospheric niitrogen in the soil via small nodules on their roots other plants can take advantage of that
 The Mexican Indians grow them as part of a  trinity ... maize for the runner bean to climb up and melons to grow in the shade of the maize the bean provide enough nitrogen to the soil for the other two , the melons slow the moisture evaporation .

 Sadly it seems that this idea is not very successful here in the UK. where we don't get alot of outside melon growing heat  and plenty of sun  .
 
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: The runner bean
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2014, 01:23:47 pm »
Mine are "dual purpose" - decorative wall climbers just outside the front door plus food later on... I grow them in containers, as part of my garden is covered in chuckies (can call myself lucky there's still some real soil, too...).

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: The runner bean
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2014, 03:17:25 pm »
Not only do they put atmospheric niitrogen in the soil via small nodules on their roots other plants can take advantage of that
 The Mexican Indians grow them as part of a  trinity ... maize for the runner bean to climb up and melons to grow in the shade of the maize the bean provide enough nitrogen to the soil for the other two , the melons slow the moisture evaporation .

 Sadly it seems that this idea is not very successful here in the UK. where we don't get alot of outside melon growing heat  and plenty of sun  .

I tried this with sweetcorn, climbing French beans and squashes, in the polytunnel.  The beans wound themselves around the cobs  :corn: and stopped them getting fertilised or developing properly, then became too heavy for the corn stalks to support, so I had to put canes in anyway.  The corn showered the squash leaves with thick pollen which turned black.  The only thing which cropped properly was the squashes  :squash:.  It was almost impossible to get into the patch because it was so crowded, so weeds grew including a bruckmansia (sp?) (thorn apple) which appeared from nowhere, stank the place out, is enormous and highly toxic. It was difficult to get in to water as well.

So now I grow each plant the traditional (for GB) way, each with their own area.


pgkevet, no I've not tried hard with the overwintered bean roots because they're never in the right place (rotation) and there's never a full row.  I suppose though it would help.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: The runner bean
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2014, 05:45:58 pm »
The theory was to lift the roots as winter veg  presumably replant spares?

 

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