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Preparing a runner beantrench

Hi all I’m new to allotment this year and about to prepare my trench for beans. I havent got any well rotted manureto pit in bottom but was wondering if chicken pellets will do 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,707

    if you are planning on using chicken pellets, just sprinkle the ground before you plant. A Bean trench is a method of composting. You dig the trench, throw in all the kitchen waste, newspaper etc, at one end, then cover that bit over with soil. The next week, move along the trench a bit. Over the winter you should fill the trench in all the way along. The stuff underneath rots, and the worms work it in.

     Sounds like hard work and totally unnecessary to me. I sprinkle the pole line with a handful of blood fish and bone when I put the plants in. I think chicken manure is best kept for brassicas. It is too nitrogenous for beans, you would get a lot of soft leafy growth at the expense of the flowers and beans.

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,748

    I don't bother digging a trench anymore either. I dig or rotovate around March, usually too wet earlier. If I have manure or compost I dig or rotovate it in then. Then when I plant the plants, after the frosts, 2nd half of May, I do as Fidgetbones and sprinkle blood, fish and bone along the pole line.

    Beans like water and I think part of the idea of a trench is to help retain water, but if you water them then it's fine.

    Last edited: 29 January 2018 14:06:12

    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,964

    I read a book called gardening myths, so now I don’t bother with the bean trench. Just sprinkle some bone meal and chicken pellets at the time of planting. No less beans. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thank you all 

  • cornellycornelly Posts: 970
    Years ago, when I was young, with no refuse collection we opened a trench for runner beans and put the empty fruit tins in the bottom, the following year after the beans were over the trench when opened had just the thick rings top and bottom and the bean roots had gone into them ideal for holding water, always had good crops.
  • I haven't grown runners for over 8 years,but plan to this year.I used Blood fish and bone,put in plants that I'd grown in the greenhouse,about 6" tall,then beside each plant I put in a bean,so there was a longer harvest!   My favourite veg steamed with burnt butter drizzled over! Mmmm!
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
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