You’ll be itching to enter your local veg show with Runner Bean ‘Prizewinner’! Foot-long beans, which are succulent and flavoursome. Height: 3m (10′). Spread: 30cm (12″). Culinary note: Some parts of these flowers are edible. Companion planting: Try growing runner beans with sweet peas to attract pollinating insects to the flowers, and Nasturtiums to draw aphids away from your crop.
Start off in 7.5cm (3″) pots indoors and plant out in your vegetable plot. Fill pots with good, free-draining, damp, seed compost. Sow seeds 4cm (1 1/2″) deep in the compost. Place the pots in a propagator or seal inside a polythene bag and keep at around 18-20C (64-68F) until the seeds germinate. This will take about 7-10 days. Don’t exclude light as this helps germination. Before planting, prepare the ground by raking until it is fine and crumbly, removing any large stones. Acclimatise the plants to cooler conditions by putting them outside for a few hours a day for a few weeks. Plant out when all risk of frost has gone, planting against canes spaced 30cm (12″) apart and 45cm (18″) between each row. This variety can also be sown direct outdoors from May once the soil has warmed up. Sow the seeds 15cm (6″) apart, 5cm (2″) deep and in rows 45cm (18″) apart