(Phaseolus coccineus) Scarlet Runner beans are a stunning ornamental and tasty edible. Impressive vines can easily reach 20’ with showy clusters of bright scarlet flowers that the hummingbirds adore.
Produces large amounts of beans that are as sweet as snap peas when young and make an excellent dried bean when mature. The flowers are also edible and delicious. Huge, colorful seeds are violet-purple mottled in black.
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Direct seed in warm soil of 65° or higher. In spring, sow seeds in fertile, well-worked soil starting on or after your last frost date. Grows best in full sun with well watered soil. Take care, however, not to overwater as bean disease will thrive in wet conditions. Harvest regularly to ensure continued production.
Extend your harvest of bush snap beans with additional plantings about three weeks apart.
Try growing more beans in less space with pole varieties, which produce more per square foot by making good use of vertical growing space. Use bamboo poles, tripod structures, or even fencing to support the beans.
Cut back on fertilizer. Beans benefit from fertile soil with a slightly acid pH (between 6.0 and 6.5), but once they are up and growing, they will create most of the nitrogen they need. Inoculating seeds with nitrogen-fixing bacteria before planting can help kick-start this process.