Best runner bean

VerdunVerdun Posts: 23,348
I have usually grown two varieties of runner beans each year tryng to find the best flavoured, stringless runner bean. I have come to the conclusion that white flowered varieties are better at setting big crops. Polestar was very good last year. Am trying White lady this time too. What's best variety for you ?


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,806

    I grew Polestar this year too-and as I have some seeds will probably do the same next yearimage

    In past years have grown Enorma,Painted Lady,Lady Di ,Scarlet Emperor and a few others- that I can't rememberimage

    Find me a string-less bean that taste good and repels blackfly- and I 'll have itimage

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,908

    I tried Painted Lady and Scarlet Empire this year, they were both good croppers and tasty. Much prefer runner and french beans to broad beans.  

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    I grew White Lady, in past and is supposed to be good in dry summers which it was. I found the crop this year not so good, but will grow it next year as the seeds last more than 2 years, and it may have been planting medium this year. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,822

    I grew Wisley Magic for the first time this year

    superb beans, great flavour, proper runner bean taste, really good cropping in difficult conditions with few pollinating insects about - we ate beans virtually every day from late August until late October and we're still eating our frozen ones - we will grow Wisley Magic again next year.image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,822

    I hope it performs as well for you as it has for me and that you enjoy the beans image

    It won the RHS trials in '99.  We grew these in our new vegetable patch, out of which we'd had to dig quite a few tree roots from the mature ash tree nearby and the soil is free draining sandy loam and was quite hungry.  I didn't have a chance to dig a bean trench but dug plenty of well rotted manure into the soil before planting out and mulched with the same later. I got 99.9% germination in the coldframe and planted out I think in early June.  They grew away well and started to crop late July.  The quality of the first flush of beans especially was superb - real show standard - I felt sad that I didn't still live in the vllage where I used to show my  fruit and veg - I'd have had a chance to compete with the 'old boys' with those beans.image 

    After the first flush I sprinkled a little potash around the roots and watered it in well - as I said the soil is very hungry and also they'd had a lot of nitrogen from all that manure.- after that there was no looking back and they cropped steadily until mid October when they tailed off.  In August and early September we watered every day (it was dry then, remember?) (we have a water butt which takes the water from our shower) and had absolutely no problems with setting even though as you know there were few insects about this year - I noticed they were regularly visited by a variety of solitary bees.  

    I'm really looking forward to growing these beans in what I hope will be a more reasonable season - but I'll need to get a bigger freezer image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • I grow White Lady and we find it has a good flavour and crops really well no matter what weather we get in summer. Will try Wisley Magic too.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 11,917

    I've tried several varieties here in Dordogne and the one that does far the best in this climate is Scarlet Emperor. It may have been surpassed for flavour, tenderness and stringlessness by other varieties in the UK but if you live somewhere that has hot summers it's way ahead.

  • I grew Polestar few years ago and been the best one for me the taste was great, did not have many this year as slugs kept eating them - but I had a few nice ones STGeorge red and white flowering ones good long beans and nice taste can't get better than home grown Runner beans. 

    I tried Red Rum,Enorma,Scarlet Emperor,ST George and White Emergo all this year in small wigwams. I do think the bees go for the white flowers first they might stand out more for them.

    I grew White lady last year nice white and yellow flowers grows well lots of beans. I must say my runner beans always seem to get black fly, they must pass other people's Runner beans just to get at mine (but nut sure they might have them as well as me)

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    I am going to sow seeds of summer savory with all beans this year. Appaently black fly don't like it. Have to wait until summer to find outimage

  • Gardengirl..Gardengirl.. Posts: 3,649

    Do you know what runner bean you will be growing this year?

    Anybody been and got their seeds already?

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    I usually grow White Lady, bees like it, weather resistant - as far as anything can be - including drought. Good flavour attractive to look at.

    Seeds already in for all veggies - made use of before Christmas discounts.


    Scarlet Emperor is always a good bet for runner beans





    White Lady for me every time.

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,106

    I had moonlight and firestorm last year. I'm only growing the moonlight this year,and climbing French bean, sultana.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,106

    And the rest of us in the frozen north (instead of sunny verdunland)have only just put the seeds in. Don't worry folks, still plenty of time to plant seeds and get a good harvest. My broad beans at  getting a good set of pods though.image

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    Last year I tried to grow White Lady with not much luck. This year am giving Moonlight a go. So far growth looks OK

    Also broad beans The Sutton seem to have loads of pods this year image

  • LillyLilly Posts: 57

    As a novice sowing and planting too early last year I have just bought tomatoe plants and runner bean plants to plant this weekend. I was shocked at the prices !!! What seeds can I sow at the moment to be more economical and still get some produce this year. I dont have a greenhouse and my garden is shaded a lot of the time by a mature Ash treeimage 

  • LillyLilly Posts: 57

    Sorry. New to the site. Should I go to a new thread for this info. I think ive just butted in !

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