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runner beans

Hi Ive tried something new to me that is keeping the old runner bean from previous year there was a crop of sorts, could have bean better, reason for that not being so good was due to Ill health on my part etc (garden neglect) has anyone tried this before? 



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,549

    My parents did this all the time in the 1950s and 1960s. The beans were always good, as far as I can remember. Mind you, they did put half a compost heap of rotted goodness into the trench first.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Runner beans are actually perennials, the roots will produce new shoots in spring and produce a crop. The secret to is to feed the new plants with plenty of well rotted manure or garden compost. If you mulch them heavily with either after they have died down they will produce a good crop in years to come. Some of the old timers in my village do it regularly. They swear by it. Personally I prefer to resow.

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,593

    I have only bean growing veg for two years, this was my second year, and both times I have bought the seed from Marshalls. My dad always saved the beans from previous year but I am a bit reluctant as they may not turn out so well and then its all the trench digging, paper and compost down the trench, sowing seed, planting out and then maybe a second rate crop, I dont know.

    I think for 2.95 for 45 seeds, I would rather buy them, both years I have had 100% germination, and loads of beans.

    I am very interested in what others may think.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,567

    I'm not much of a veg grower now but I always saved and swapped seeds of runner beans. I wouldn't have bought F1 hybrids in the first instance and they kept going round  for years

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,593

    For me too, there is a lot of work that goes in to a good bean crop, I think new seed is worth it too.

    I buy the one that doesnt need bees to polinate, is drought resistant so didnt water this year at all. Fantastic 100% germination and tons of beans

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I think the OP, Richard is referring to re-growing from the previous years root stock rather than from saved beans (correct me if I am wrong !).

    I tried this a couple of years ago and despite plenty of compost etc, the results were not good. Personally I don't think I will try it again.

  • Just to help clear things a bit, it is keeping the root stock, 

    My father use to keep some seed many years ago when I was quite young and learning to grow things  for the table (to eat etc) I may well try again next year, we will have to see.

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    I would stick with a packet of new runner bean seeds. By all means experiment with keeping the roots for another year, but don't rely on them coming through the winter and producing a good crop.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,593

    I wouldnt even bother to save roots, gosh, three quid for seeds and plants guaranteed, no contest.

    How can you dig your trench to fill with nutrients if the roots are in.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

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