BLACK COAT RUNNER BEAN
70 Days. Heirloom with crimson flowers that cover 6 to 7 foot tall vines, followed by green pods with large beans that dry to a jet black colour.
Naturally Grown and Photographed by Margie’s Wild Pasture Homestead in Nova Scotia.
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GROWING RUNNER BEANS FROM SEED
Scientific Name: Phaseolus coccineus
Runner beans are a warm weather crop that thrives in well-drained soil. Sow them once the temperatures are above 16 degrees Celsius. The ideal soil temperature for runner bean seed germination is between 21 and 30 degrees Celsius. Use drip irrigation as an efficient way to water your runner beans and to reduce the spread of foliar disease.
Runner beans require the support of a trellis, a post, or a mesh fence. If you use poles, plant 4 seeds around the base of each pole.
Unlike pole beans, runner beans prefer cool summer temperatures and are more prone to blossom drop in extreme heat waves. Ensure your runner beans are well watered to keep their roots cool.
Runner beans require pollinators to trigger pollination of their flowers.
Often, runner bean seeds are directly sown into the garden. If you want a head start against slugs and other pests, start them indoors 2 to 3 weeks before your last frost date. Sow 1 seed per cell, 1 inch deep. A heat mat is beneficial to keep consistent bottom heat.
Harden seedlings off for 3 to 5 days before planting outside.
Space runner bean seedlings 3 to 4 inches apart along the base of a trellis or a mesh fence.
Sow runner bean seeds directly into the garden once temperatures are above 16 degrees Celsius. If you are using poles for support, plant 4 seeds around the base of each pole. If you are using a mesh fence or a trellis, plant runner beans seeds 3 to 4 inches apart, 1 inch deep, in a row.
Harvesting Fresh Beans
Harvest your bean pods often to encourage continued production. Research your variety to know the ideal harvest stage for best flavour and texture.
Harvest your beans in dry weather to reduce the spread of disease pathogens from one plant to another. You can harvest runner beans without bending over!
Harvesting Dry Beans
To harvest dry beans from your runner bean plants, leave the bean pods on the plants until they dry down to a leathery brown texture. When you can hear the beans rattle inside the pods, it is safe to bring the pods inside to finish drying. Ensure a dry environment to allow the beans to dry down fully. I use a dehumidifier because our Nova Scotia climate is too humid for air drying.
Store dry beans in an airtight container in a dry, cool, dark place. Soak them overnight before adding them to your winter soups, casseroles, and of course. homemade baked beans!