Magazine article Sunset

For Flowers, for Eating, for an Arbor.Scarlet Runner Beans

Magazine article Sunset

For Flowers, for Eating, for an Arbor.Scarlet Runner Beans

Article excerpt

For flowers, for eating, for an arbor . . . scarlet runner beans

You get a double bonus with scarlet runner beans: they're good to eat, and the plants are exceptionally attractive.

Throughout the growing season, these vigorous plants produce masses of bright red blooms, followed by edible beans. Eat the beans young, as snap beans, or when they mature, as green or dried shell beans.

In the garden, scarlet runners are so good-looking that many people think of them as ornamental plants. They make a lush screen when trained up a trellis or other upright support (you can even use strings attached to the side of your house). Some gardeners train them up poles and pinch off the growing tips once the plants reach the pole tops. Or use them on an arbor, as shown above. Plants grow quickly from seed, and can reach 10 to 12 feet tall by the end of summer.

You can get seeds from a nursery or mail-order supplier. Sow this month, spacing seeds about 1 to 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Thin seedlings to about 1 foot apart. Protect the plants from snails and slugs.

Harvesting the crop

To enjoy scarlet runners as snap beans, harvest them young and small, as shown above. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.