runner bean 'Painted Lady'
- Position: full sun
- Soil: deep and fertile with reliable moisture
A Victorian variety that's been making a well-deserved comeback as gardeners rediscover its reliability, productivity and beauty – the plant has bicoloured flowers in red and white, making it decorative enough to plant among your flowers. The medium-length pods have a rich, full flavour and are produced over a long season if picked regularly. The flowers are edible too and make a colourful garnish.
- Growing Instructions:Choose a spot in full sun with the richest soil you can provide: dig in plenty of well-rotted organic matter before planting. From late spring sow seeds direct 5cm deep and about 20cm apart and support with sturdy hazel bean poles. Protect seedlings from slugs and squash blackfly as soon as they appear on shoot tips. Pinch out the leading shoots of runner beans when they reach the tops of their supports so they concentrate on making more beans instead of heading skywards.
- Sow: April-June
- Harvest: July-October
- Approximate quantity: 45 seeds.
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Q:What veg can I grow with my runner beans?
Dad has grown runner beans on the same patch for years. Is it ok to grow leeks, kohlrabi, carrots and sprouts on this patch or even courgettes? I am trying to get a crop rotation underway but there is limited space.Asked on 22/3/2005 by Jan Hamilton-Taylor
A:The purpose of crop rotation is to reduce build-up of soil borne pests and diseases, and continuous cropping of the same vegetable can lead to an inbalance of soil nutrients. The plants you mention should be fine to grow in the same spot as the beans this year, but you will need to add plenty of organic matter to the area before planting and I wouldn't recommend growing the carrots or sprouts in the same spot next year. Even if the area is small, it really will help if you can try and work out a crop rotation to avoid problems in the future.Answered on 23/3/2005 by Crocus
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