Scarlet Emperor has been a favourite for decades, which is no surprise. It yields long, straight pods of excellent flavour.
- Sliced and blanched, it freezes well to provide tasty out-of-season treats.
- Requires support.
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How to Guide
Sow individual seeds 2.5cm (1in) deep in 8cm (3in) pots of seed and potting compost. Keep pots in a frost free greenhouse. Ensure the compost remains moist at all times, but not saturated.
Gradually accustom the young plants to outside conditions for 2 - 3 weeks before planting them out to their cropping positions form late May onwards, when the danger of frost has passed.
Ensure supports are in place before planting out. Allow 20cm (8in) between plants in the row.
Sow two seeds close together 5cm (2in) deep, at intervals of 20cm (8in). Runner bean seed is sensitive to cold, wet soils and will not germinate in unfavourable conditions. We therefore recommend you do not sow seed outdoors before May.
Runner beans require support (see below) and it is best to have this in place before you sow.
Runner beans require plenty of water to produce a good crop. Water generously in dry spells. When plants are in full flower, an occasional mid-day spraying with a fine hose encourages flower set and bean production.
Runner beans are generally disease and trouble free. They thrive in a sunny position which is not exposed to cold winds.