planting out runner beans

Hi there, I just wondered whether anyone could tell me, whether it would be alright to plant out my runner beans soon, as they are beginning to take over my window sill, and Tilly the terrier is getting a little bit keen to get back on her window sill, to sunbathe !! I am in the South Norfolk area , so would you think it would be okay frost wise. 



  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    No you have started way,way too early-if you plant them now they will get chilled if not frosted,

    If you are only growing a few plants ditch those and start again in 2/3 weeks-they will then be about right for planting out aroud the end of May

    Sorry -starting early does not always pay off

  • artychrisartychris Posts: 60

    Thankyou, I did think I was perhaps a little early. I might just put them out in a sheltered position in their pots and just see if they survive, then resow in a few weeks.

  • nadiamaznadiamaz Posts: 35

    Hi,I've got the same "impatient-gardener's bug" (I'm unexperienced), and after my tomatoes became as triffids on my kitchen windowsill, now it's my runner bean (one is almost 2ft tall!). What I do is keep them indoors, but when the weather is warm, sunny and clement, I put them out during the day. Meanwhile, the stalks are ready to support them when all frost risk will be over (if ever!). Is it a good strategy? Btw, my tomatoes were definitely too large for my windowsill, and seem now to have settled well in the growhouse... would you agree?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    At 2 ft tall your runner beans should be planted out-the problem is it is too early!!-depending on where you live the time is between in 2/5 weeks.

    If you have only grown a few-be brave ditch those and start again now.

    You tomatoes look fine -but watch out for cold nights-you might find the foliage goes a bit bluish that is a sign they have been chilled.

  • Among the many gardening dates I have fixed in my head is 'sow runner been seed in the open on May 12th'.

  • nadiamaznadiamaz Posts: 35

    Thanks guys for your sound advice! I don't want to "ditch" my lovely beans, as they seem to be ok on my windowsill for now. So, I'll try and keep it as long as needed and possible. I live in Lancaster, but my tiny garden is packed with plants, gets good sunlight and well sheltered (the fence above is facing South), so creating a nice cosy microclimate. For now, I carefully zip down my growhouse with the tomatoes and the one next to it at night and when the weather is too cold in my opinion. Leaves of tomatoes are ok... look indeed a bit struggling for the cold but still healthy enough (hope).

  • cyclone7cyclone7 Posts: 2

    I made the same mistake and transplanted runner beans from windowsill to outside, this was around 3 weeks ago. Big mistake, however, I live in the south east and they are still alive but havent grown much. Does anyone think I should sacrifice them and start again or just leave them be??

    Also could anyone give me advice about when to plant out cucumbers? Getting a bit large on window sill.image


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    Runner beans do not like cold temperatures so they are sulking-they might perk up when the warm weather comes-what I would do, seeing as you have now planted them out-albeit a month early-is keep an eye on them for the next couple of weeks-if they don't get going- start again-there is plenty of the growing season left

    If it gets frosty they will not survive

    As regards cucumbers -are they going in a greenhouse?

  • JengilJengil Posts: 35

    I too an am impatient gardener and sowed runner and dwarf beans in peat pots indoors on 18th April, not knowing how long they would take to germinate as this is first time. All germinated in under 2 weeks. Also have giant tomato plants in my tiny greenhouse taking up all the room... will know better next year. I guess being a good gardener is a lot about experience.

  • cyclone7cyclone7 Posts: 2

    yes sotongeoff the cucumber plants will go into my small greenhouse. I will put them in a grow bag on the bottom shelf..Thank you for the advice on the runner beans , I have been watching them and they are creating new  buds.

    Last year I put young cucumber plants outside without a greenhouse, they died within 2 weeks!!!  Now I have my  modest greenhouse I am hoping for a better chance. All advice is greatfully received.image

  • jude5jude5 Posts: 65

    Don't be downhearted all you impatient gardeners, It's a good thing to be optomistic. I've been gardening for yonks and still sow things much too early knowing full well that I'll probably have to do it again. But sometimes, just sometimes it pays off, the weather is kind and it makes you feel great! Anyway, the winter is too long and seed sowing fingers get very itchyimage

  • Busy Bee2Busy Bee2 Posts: 1,005

    Although there is a danger of frost up until about the third week in May (dates depend upon your location - we are in Lincolnshire) that doesn't mean there necessarily WILL be a frost, so my advice to anyone with triffid beans would be to construct your wigwam (or whatever you grow the beans up), plant them out at the base, and stick in a spare seed on the other side of the base, as you can probably plant them direct outside now.  If there is no frost you are laughing, but if there is and the first plants die, replacements will soon be up.  Also, I have put some tenders out under 'mini-cloches' made from cutting up plastic water bottles.

  • our beans in the greenhouse have just popped through and are about 2ins tall.They should be ok to go out in a couple of weeks. Then I can have enough space to pot up my hanging baskets....Its cold here and nothing outside is moving yet.  Thank goodness for cold frames as well as the greenhouse.   I am not sowing tomato seeds this year - will just buy a few plants in a week or so.

  • I have runner beans raring to grow up a cane but have put them outside in my plastic cold frame with the lid shut.  Hopefully they will survive.  Also cucumber plants are doing well.  I am inclined to plant them out under plastic bells.  Going on holiday next week for two weeks so its a bit of a "do or die" situation.

  • diggingdorisdiggingdoris Posts: 486

    I think we were all fooled into thinking spring was here back in March with that warm spell. That's what set me off planting too early. I was hoping for an earlier than usual harvest, but realise now that's not really possible. Just trying to get a new lot of runners to chit on some damp kitchen roll in the airing cupboard!

  • JengilJengil Posts: 35

    I have just put my runner & dwarf beans in my mini greenhouse and am on standby in case I need to sow more.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619
    My second lot of French beans have been in the cold frame for a couple of weeks- I give them a fleece duvet overnight. First lot are out in the garden under cloches. Runners still in the greenhouse, they'll go in the cold frame after the weekend. The weather seems to have bypassed summer, doesn't it?
  • CJMCJM Posts: 1

    I'm so pleased to have found this forum.  I too have been slightly impatient and have runners too large for my windowsill (and a multitute of other things that are now waiting to take their place!)  I have now opted to put them outside in my rickety cheap plastic growhouse... fingers crossed they survive and don't outgrow that - I like the idea of planting out in a week or so and putting an extra seed next to them to safeguard against the weather!

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    This week I shall be sowing runner beans into pots for planting out in 3/4 weeks.

  • lets all hope for some decent weather soon!  I find the trouble with cold frames is the slugs and snails. We have tried pellets, grit, and coffee grounds but nothing seems to work. 

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