Dwarf Runner Bean 'Hestia' is perfect to grow in pots or containers, producing a heavy crop of string less, high quality and tasty beans. It produces attractive red and white flowers, on a compact bushy plant (to 45cm tall) that is easy to grow.
Disease resistant and earlier to crop than standard types of runner bean, it is good to sow successionally allowing you to make the most of limited space.
|When to sow||Sow successionally April to July.|
|Where to Sow||Sow indoors in compost filled pots 4cm (1.5in) deep. Place in a warm sunny position and water regularly until they germinate.|
|Sow direct outdoors, placing 2 seeds at the base of each support (at least 23cm (9in) apart), 4 cm ( 1.5in) deep.|
|Runner beans prefer moist, fertile soil in a sunny position, sheltered from strong winds. Prepare the seed bed or pot/container by digging over and adding plenty of organic material to help retain moisture.|
|What to do Next||Transplant seeds sown indoors to final growing position once the risk of frost has passed (end of May). Place a seedling at the base of each support (at least 23cm (9in) apart) and water well.|
|Keep weed free and water well, especially in dry weather when the flowers first appear to encourage the beans to develop.|
|Harvest||July to October.|
|Handy Tips||Prior to sowing place seeds on damp paper towels until they swell as this will initiate germination.|
|Try sowing beans in compost filled toilet roll cardboard inners, this allows the soil to be free draining and also allows gives the roots plenty of room to grow. When the seedlings are ready to plant out the cardboard rolls they can be placed directly into the seed bed minimising root disturbance.|
|Pick beans often and do not allow them to get too large . This will encourage a longer and heavier crop and prevent the beans becoming stringy.|
|Companion Planting||Good Companions: Rosemary, peas, cucumbers, carrots, chives, radishes, lettuce, nasturtiums.|
|Bad Companions: Onion or fennel.|
|Nutritional Information||Good source of vitamin C, folic acid and iron.|
|Serving Suggestion||Runner beans can be served shredded, sliced or shelled. Add whole or halved to salads, sautéed or steam with other vegetables or chop and cook in curry, risottos, omelettes and casseroles. They are also a good vegetable to freeze after blanching.|
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