i am considering growing some runner beans but i dont know if it would be better to soak the seeds in warm water first to help them germinate or not as i know i am a bit late in growing them? can anyone help?
Unless you're somewhere very warm I wouldn't start now, they'll never get to beans before the frost
I think you might be too late for this year, and no you dont need to soak the seeds they should germinate readily enough.
when is the best time to start?
Has your local garden centre or nursery any plants left over. Might just get some in......
Sowing on May12th is reckoned to be about right here in the Midlands, maybe a week or so earlier further south and a week or so later further north.
Get your skates on first thing tomorrow. Get some dwarf bean seeds ( not that different from runners). Plant some in small pots, one per pot. Water, keep damp but not too wet. Plant the rest in your vegetable plot, preferably under cloches. Again keep damp ( dwarf beans like it hotter and drier than runners as a general rule). When those in pots are 4-5 inches tall plant them out. Why not use troughs and Multi purpose compost. Feed with tomato fertiser as you water.Warmth is important. When we get to late summer put the cloches back over them to protect them.
This gives you your best chance of some beans this season, but is not guaranteed. However just think of how nice it will be to be eating your own beans when the rest of us are enjoying those from far, far away. Nothing ventured....