Fruit and veg growing

Hi all, 

i'm hoping you can help me answer some questions which i cannot seem to find the answers too online.

I am starting to grow my own few plants for the first time this year. I am limited on space so i'm going to be doing it all in containers. 

The one thing i'm having trouble finding out is wether i can grow runner beans in a reusable tomato grow bag like this

 The bags measures: 16.5" x 14" 

I have bought 2 already to put my tomato plants in them. 

If they are big enough to use, how many runner beans per bag?





  • scrogginscroggin Posts: 2,049

    No reason why you cant grow runner beans in bags so long as you keep them well watered. I would put around 4 per bag, they are heavy croppers so that should be plenty. I presume you're growing them up canes, if so they need to be in a sunny but sheltered spot. There are dwarf varieties but have never grown them myself, french beans would grow well too.

  • Kassie.............I don't grow Runner Beans myself but that sounds rather a small container for a vigorous plant.  I expect someone else will have a better idea thoimage

    If you are restricted to containers of that size have you considered the dwarf French Beans ?  Personally, I think they are a better bet .  You could try 2 dwarfs in that size. 

    Whatever you decide on, I hope you enjoy eating themimage

  • There you go Kassie.............told you someone would have better adviceimage

  • thanks, il take this on board, i could always try getting a slightly bigger size bag for the beans just incase. I am intending on growing them up canes.

    As for the tomato plants can i happily get 2 in this size bag? (16.5" x 14")

    thanks for some info!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,815

    Hi Kassie image

    Is this the sort of thing you intend to use?  That looks quite substantial compared with the usual type of growbag.  

    I'd have a go at the runner beans if I were you, but remember they do need quite a bit of water - I'd use a loam based compost rather than the multi-purpose types.  It will hold the moisture better and it will also be heavier and provide more stability.  Tall bean plants with lots of leaves will catch the wind and blow over unless the base is very weighty.  

    In a previous garden when I was very pushed for space I grew all sorts of veg in containers, including dwarf French beans and Borlotti Firetongue beans - I grew them in large plastic crates - the sort that are used for recycling bottles etc.  We drilled lots of holes in the bottom and stood them on bricks to make sure the drainage worked. 

    Good luck image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • yes, these are the things! ok, i think im going to use this type of container and get better compost for them. My garden gets good sun but is also sheltered from the winds as it has a very high wall and fence either side image 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,815

    I think for runner beans I'd use John Innes No. 2 loam-based compost.  They should be fine in your garden - my little patch was north-facing and we still got quite decent crops. 

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 5,106

    Have you thought about using water retention gel , mixed in with the compost

    Best of luckimage

  • No i haven't, all new to me image

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,815

    Don't hesitate to come back and ask about anything you're not sure of Kassie and let us know how you get on image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • Ok, so i have started planning what i'm going to do:

    Im going to put 3 runner beans into the one grow bag (16.5" x 14")

    one tomato plant per a grow bag (16.5" x 14") im growing the 'money maker' i will have two in total.

    My carrots are currently growing in a trough which measures 16" long but only 6" deep - im guessing these are tiny carrots or that they need to be moved into a deeper container? Advice on this please

    I have 10 pepper seedlings growing in another trough which also measures 16" long but only 6" deep, i have read a 30 cm pot is adequate for one plant, so will one plant be ok to stay in this trough? and to plant a second one in another pot. I am only planning on keeping around 2 of each plant. Advice on this please

    As for growing my herbs, i am going to be growing Basil, coriander, chives and parsley. I was wondering if i can grow them individually in small 20cm pots or is this too small?





  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I use this type of bag for my toms and there is a problem; the soil is not deep enough to support canes and heavy crops! Last year my toms looked like a load of drunks on the way back from the pub. This year am going to make a structure from pressure treated timber that will support the canes.image

  • Kassie..........tho always best in the ground, .you can grow carrots in a trough provided they are the short rooted ones.   

    I'd say you definitely need deeper pots for your Peppers tho if you want to get a decent crop.

    Basil and Coriander are only annuals but  Chives and Parsley are longer lasting....parsley at least should give you a couple of seasons so a more permanent /bigger pot would be a good bet.  Chives will go on for several years so again a more permanent planting/bigger pot would be best.

  • PS........meant to say you sound extremely organised......good for youimage

  • KEFKEF Posts: 8,915

    If I had to grow beans in sacks I'd grow dwarf beans use the compost that Dove said and add a bit of BFB or Growmore when you plant them.

    If you want to grow climbing beans some French beans are climbers, not as tall growing or as leafy so less for wind to blow about.

    What about some courgettes ? image

  • Would 30cm pots be ok for the herbs then?

    I have seen these on amazon, i have a nice sunny wall i can hang them onto.

    Or these 24cm ones here which don't need screwing and just tie to drain pipe.

    I may get some dwarf beans then, and see if these grow better.

    Im not too sure about courgettes, my husband loves them though. What size container do they need for a plant?

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Courgette plants can be pretty big and need very fertile soil and plenty of water.  I've never tried growing them in containers but i reckon you'd need a big one - maybe 18" each way?  Beware though: if you get it right the plant can take over the world, and unless you're very fond of courgettes one plant should be enough - they can be very productive.

    Good luck - and welcome to a hobby that'll keep you busy (and well-fed) for life!

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    Oh btw - basil is best in a greenhouse or a sunny windowsill, unless the summer turns out to be unusually hot and calm!  Most other herbs are best outside.

  • I will not do courgettes for now, i went out and purchased some new pots which now are much deeper. 

    Although the ones i bought for the carrots ended up being only 10" deep so i miss judged them a little bit. Im tempted to go get two new ones for the carrots so they are definitely 12" deep at least!

    Im still yet to buy some strawberry and raspberry plants. The two pots i have in mind for them are 38cm - 10" deep. Will these be big enough for 1 or 2 plants per a pot?



  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,754

    10" should be OK for carrots, though if you let a big variety grow to maturity they might push up out of the soil at the top.  But I bet you can't leave them that long - they're yummier when they're smaller anyway.  Amsterdam Forcing is a good variety if you haven't bought seed yet.

    That pot size also sounds OK for strawbs Kassie; how many plants per pot depends on the diameter as well. I'd say 5" diam would grow one good plant, 7" two, 9" three etc. but someone can probably give you more info on that.  Troughs might be good - I'm trying that this year.  Raspberries need a lot more room in my opinion and I'm not sure about growing them in pots.

    Now the bad news: you shouldn't let strawbs fruit in their first year if you want them to grow big and healthy (unless you plant them in September, the ideal time - which you haven't).  Take the flowers off when they form and let them put all their energy into growing.  Next year you'll get a bumper crop.  Or you could take the fruit and put up with small yields in future.  Yer pays yer money and yer takes yer choice.

    Autumn-fruiting raspberries can be harvested in their first year but not summer ones (as they fruit on last year's growth).

    Good luck image

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