The Daily Telegraph - Saturday


Lucy Hart shows you how


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!”


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).


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


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.


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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