How to grow runner beans






The Gardening Angel Guide to Growing Runner Beans

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For many gardeners, the summer is not complete without a tasty crop of tender runner beans. They are such a productive crop and easy to grow. In this guide we will explain how you can grow your own runner beans successfully using the magic of self-watering with the Quadgrow Planter.

When to sow runner bean seeds in the UK

From April, you can start your beans off in small pots and transplant them into a Quadgrow later on. Simply fill a pot with seed compost and make a hole around 2 inches deep. Drop in your runner bean seed and then refill your hole with compost. Finally, water the seed in.

You can choose to propagate them in one of our award-winning propagators and they will germinate in about a week and grow surprisingly quickly. You’ll need to harden them off for around 7-10 days before you can plant them on into your Quadgrow.

Problems with growing runner beans and how to avoid them

Have you ever tried to grow runner beans but failed to get the pods to set? If so, don’t worry, you are not alone. It’s a common problem, particularly early in the season.

The main cause of your problem is lack of moisture at the roots. Runner beans require ample soil moisture, and so if you don’t keep on top of frequent watering your runner beans will fail to set and even wilt and die.

The Quadgrow Self-Watering Planter keeps your runner beans watered evenly and thoroughly for up to 14 days at a time, fuelling faster growth and bigger harvests.


This is perfect if you prefer the idea of low maintenance can give you flexibility to go away for the week, safe in the knowledge that your crop is getting fed the right level of nutrients for strong and healthy growth. This allows you to focus on other areas of your garden or growing schedule that require more manual attention.

You may have found that your runner beans fail to develop correctly due to lack of nutrients in the compost. The Quadgrow Self-Watering Planter comes with free Nutrigrow Plant Food which provide you with all the nutrients your runner beans need. Simply pour your nutrients into the 30 litre reservoir and it will evenly distribute it to the plants roots. This in turn means faster growth, bigger flowers and crops of runner beans. These nutrients are also pest & drought resistant preventing you from common pest or disease problems.


Occasionally, your runner beans may be affected by diseases such as runner bean and French bean rust and bacterial diseases such as halo blight. One of the more common pests of bean is the black bean aphid, or red spider mite. Fortunately, the Quadgrow has optional mulch caps to stop pests and diseases growing in the soil. Not only do these mulch caps prevent other pests such as fungus gnats laying eggs in the soil, but is also extremely effective in protecting against frost damage as the caps warms up the soil to increase root growth resulting in bigger harvests.

Keep your runner beans watered whilst away on holiday


If you leave your runner bean plants for longer than 10 days in the summer you can still maintain control over your watering. Either ask a neighbour or friend to top up your planters reservoir or connect your planter to a water butt which contains a connecting pipe with a water level controller which pulls water from the water butt when the water level drops in the reservoir. This holiday watering kit add-on can keep your plants at the perfect moisture level for a further 7 days until your water butt is empty. This means that your runner bean plant will never get to dry or waterlogged.

Lack growing space for runner beans?

Do you lack the space to grow your own runner beans? Your greenhouse may be completely full, but don’t let this put you off. The Quadgrow is space efficient despite its generous reservoir and enormous generating crop potential. You can use it on your patio, in your garden, greenhouse or home, and your runner beans will be able to grow normally and healthy.

Supporting your runner bean plant


Runner beans require support from a framework of canes. Ideally, this should be put in place prior to planting. With the Quadgrow you can insert 2 rows of garden canes using the cane support kit. Your runner beans will then naturally twine their stems around the canes as they grow.

When to plant out your runner beans


Your runner beans will be ready to plant out when the roots of the plants are well developed. Before planting out, wait for all risk of frost to pass, and acclimatise them to outdoor temperatures for a week, by taking them out during the day and bringing them in again at night. We recommend late May – early June to do this.

When to harvest runner beans?


Pinch out the growing tips of your runner bean plant once the stems have reached the top of their canes to direct energy into producing beans rather than growing tall.

Runner beans can then be harvested from July once the pods reach 8 inches long. Pick beans every 2-3 days to ensure they are tender and prevent them from becoming stringy. The more you pick, the more pods will be produced.

Customer success stories!


Check out these brilliant photos of customer growing runner beans in the Quadgrow. Share your Quadgrow updates with us on our Facebook Page, and get involved with our growing community!






Get growing your runner beans in a Quadgrow Self-Watering Planter!


To conclude, growing runner beans in a Quadgrow using these steps above is quick and simple. Find out more information about the Quadgrow and check out our video growing guide on our YouTube channel and request your free gardening brochure.

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