One veggie we still need to seed is our Scarlett Runner Beans. Let me tell you, this is one pretty bean when dried. The plant itself, with its rich green leaves and bright red flowers winding up a trellis, make for a beautiful display or privacy shield. We plan to use an old metal garage frame to create a little haven of shade for other plants in the garden. It’s also a favourite if you wish to attract bees and hummingbirds.
We can say these beans are pretty easy to grow, but give this bean some room and a strong support as they can grow up to 9ft tall and the bean pods are approximately 20 cm in length. Start seeds indoors and plant outdoors when the soil is at least 15C; if the soil is too cold it could cause the seed to rot. Sow 3-5cm deep and 15-30cm apart.
The pods are edible at any stage and you can eat them raw while they are young and not yet fibrous. However, be warned that once they have matured and small beans develop, they are not safe to eat raw any longer. They must be cooked once small beans develop or let them dry for next year’s seeds as the plant will not survive our winter. In warmer climates, this is a perennial plant with tuberous roots.
So, if you don’t want to save your seeds, here’s an alternative: dig it up and store in cool, damp sand for replanting in spring. The resulting plants should flower much sooner than plants started from seed.
Brad and Susan Emery are members of the Dunnville Horticultural Society (DHS). Due to COVID-19 restrictions, DHS has suspended member meetings.
If you have questions or comments, please contact DHS President Deb Zynomirski at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org. Note that 2021 DHS memberships are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 single, $15 couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario N1A 2X5.