The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

GROW RUNNER BEANS IN A POT

Lucy Hart shows you how

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April is the time to plant runner beans. It is a splendid way to introduce children to horticultu­re and, even if you do not have a garden, you can grow a wigwam of beans in a pot on your sill or balcony. Who can resist the beauty of their delicate tendrils and scarlet flowers with a promise of runner beans to come?

“My children eat them raw, straight from the plant,” Hart says. “They never make it as far as the kitchen!”

1

Sow beans in small pots 4cm deep in peat-free compost. Put two beans in each pot and remove the weaker one after germinatio­n. Lucy recommends ‘St George’ (red flowers), ‘Celebratio­n’ (peach) and ‘Snowstorm’ (white).

2

Place your pots on a window sill inside where they will get natural light, regularly checking they do not dry out.

3

Plant bean plants outside in early June, when there is no longer any risk of frost. Initially guide them up a tall cane or stake. Keep the plants watered throughout the summer.

4

From July, you can pick your beans and eat them raw, sliced in salads, or steamed with hot meals. The flowers are also edible and are very pretty in a salad.

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