Step 1

Build Cane Wigwams to Support Runner Beans

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Build Support for the Beans

Support is vital for these climbing plants. Build a wigwam from eight canes, ideally at least 7 ft (2.2 m) long, pushed firmly into the soil about 12 in (30 cm) apart, in a circle. Tie the canes securely at the top and again halfway down.

Step 2

Plant Bean Seeds by Each Cane of Wigwam

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening

DK - Vegetable Gardening

Plant the Seeds

late spring, when the soil is at least 54 degrees F (12 degrees C), plant two seeds at a depth of 2 in (5 cm) by each cane and water thoroughly. In cold areas or where the soil is heavy, sow the seeds in deep pots indoors in mid-spring.

Step 3

Twist Strongest Seedling Around Cane and Tie

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Train the Plants to Grow Upward

After germination, remove the weaker seedling. Twist the remaining plant around its cane and tie it in with twine. A companion sweet pea plant will attract insects to the runner bean flowers, promoting a good crop.

Step 4

Pick Young and Tender Runner Beans Twice a Week

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Vegetable Gardening, 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Pick the Beans Regularly

It is important to pick runner beans regularly (at least twice a week), when they are young and tender, because overly mature pods are less appetizing and suppress the formation of new flowers.