Runner Bean

Runner Bean Galaxy

One of the most productive crops that can be grown at home, a single wigwam of runners bean plants can easily provide large enough crops to provide for an average size family all season long. Runner bean Galaxy produces extremely reliable, high yields of tender stringless beans with excellent flavour. Any surplus can easily be frozen, and will remain in excellent condition for later use.

Growing Advice

Grow your own Runner Bean seeds

Sow Indoors

Sow indoors April to May. Sow 2.5cm deep into individual pots of compost. Water well and place in a warm, light position, away from cold draughts and out of intense, direct sunlight. Keep the compost just moist and be careful not to overwater, the compost should almost dry out before it is watered again. Seedlings should start to appear in approximately 7-14 days. In late May, acclimatise plants to outside conditions. Place pots outside in a sheltered spot during the day and bring them inside again at night when the temperature falls. Do this for a week or two, until the plants have hardened off. Plant out to a sunny growing position spaced 30cm apart. Keep the soil moist and remove any weeds as they appear. The plants will need support as they grow larger. A wigwam of bamboo canes is ideal and quick and easy to make.

Sow Outdoors

Sow outdoors May to early July. Runner beans can be sown outdoors for ease. Choose a sunny, sheltered location for best results and wait until the soil has warmed up, ideally to around 10°C or more. If the soil is very heavy, cold or waterlogged an indoor sowing is preferable. Beans like good fertile soil so it’s worth digging in a slow release fertiliser or some organic matter before you start. Sow 5cm deep directly where plants are to grow. For surest results, sow two seeds together, with 30cm between each pair. Gently firm the soil and keep moist. When large enough to handle remove the weaker seedling of each pair, leaving the strongest to grow on. It is good practice to water well after thinning out, to wash any dislodged soil back around the roots of the remaining plants. Remove any weeds as they appear.

Top Tips About Seeds

  • Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings.
  • Runner bean seeds will maintain their vigour for a good number of years.

Growing in Containers

Runner beans can only be grown in the largest of patio containers but crops will be much smaller. Dwarf French beans might be a better choice. Keep plants well watered if growing in containers.

Common Problems

Runner beans are pretty much problem free. They can occasionally suffer an attack of blackfly (Black bean aphids) but usually only if the plants are weak or under-watered. An infestation usually starts at the tip of a plant so the prompt removal of the tip along with the aphids on it, will quickly deal with the problem in most instances.


Harvest from July to October. The most important thing to remember about harvesting beans is to do it constantly and to never let up. Once the pods are allowed to mature the plants will begin to slow down the growth of new ones.

Ideas on how to use your Runner Bean

Regular and thorough watering throughout the harvest period will really help to increase the size and the quality of the crop. If you are going away on holiday pick every bean you can find before you go, even the tiny ones. Any surplus beans can simply be bagged and frozen whole for later use. When needed just chop them up from frozen and put them straight into the pan. When in flower runner beans make attractive plants so if space is limited a wigwam of beans can look great in an ornamental border.