There is a lot of confusion about how many runner beans should be planted per cane. One, two, or three? Some people even grow four or five runner bean plants per cane.
Here is what they are doing wrong and what’s best for you.
How Many Runner Beans Should You Plant per Cane?
You can plant one, two, or three runner beans per cane. However, there is no set limit. You can choose to plant more than three runner beans per cane, but you will have to deal with certain consequences.
For example, your runner beans may not have enough space to grow properly, or they may produce fewer beans than if you had planted fewer per cane.
If you are planting multiple runner beans per cane, make sure that you leave enough space between each plant. They will need room to spread out and grow. Otherwise, they will become crowded, and their growth will be stunted.
When Should You Plant One Runner Bean per Cane?
Typically, you should plant one runner bean per cane. It is manageable for those who are growing runner beans for the first time. You can plant one runner bean per cane by sticking to the following process.
Planting Runner Beans: Runner beans are sensitive. So, choose the location according to the weather. You can sow them outdoors in early summer. However, if you are planting in late spring, sow indoors, and you can transfer them outdoors later.
You can choose any of the following locations,
- Sunny windowsill
- Containers and pots
- Grounds (outdoor)
If you are sowing the seeds outdoors, it’s better to prepare the soil. Jobe’s Organics (buy it here) enriches the soil and perfectly prepares it for the growth of healthy runner beans.
Supporting Runner Beans: Runner beans need support, and it is mainly given with the help of bamboo canes. Though poles, strings, and nearby walls or railings can be used as support, bamboo canes are the most effortless option.
The traditional method is to plant seeds in two rows. For example, if you have 14 seeds. Make two rows and plant 7 seeds in each. The rows should have a distance of 45-60cm. The distance between two seeds in a row should be around 30 cm.
Now, push a bamboo cane into the soil near the seed and tilt it, so it makes a 60 degrees angle with the ground.
Now, repeat the process and place one bamboo cane for each seed. It will create an X-frame. Next, insert a cane horizontally along the tips of vertical canes and tie it at the center for stability.
Watering Runner Beans: Runner beans require a lot of water. So, make sure you are generous in watering the runner bean plants. Water the beans regularly. Beans planted outdoors and indoors have different water requirements.
If you are growing runner beans in a container, they will dry out more quickly. So, water them regularly and generously.
Harvesting Runner Beans: Estimate the harvesting time of the variety you are growing. It is better to pick up pods at an earlier stage, as they can be snapped quickly. However, you must schedule harvesting at intervals of one or two days if you want to pick up young pods. So, you can pick up pods before they mature.
When Should You Plant Two Runner Beans per Cane?
If you have little space and believe one runner bean plant per cane won’t be sufficient to meet your bean needs, you should definitely try planting two runner beans per cane. It is common for people to plant two runner beans per cane, and most of them are pretty satisfied with the results.
The process is the same as for one bean per cane. The only difference is that you have to sow two seeds around one cane at a small distance.
However, you must be more mindful about watering runner beans when planting two beans per cane. As mentioned, runner beans need a lot of water. When two plants grow in the vicinity, they need even more water.
So, make sure your soil is appropriately enriched and doesn’t lack any specific nutrient crucial for the growth of runner beans. Also, ensure you water the beans regularly and generously.
When Can You Plant Three Runner Beans per Cane?
If you are willing to invest a good amount of your time and resources, you can plant three runner beans per cane.
As long as the soil is enriched and you are watering the runner beans properly (3 beans per can require even more water than previous options), you can successfully enjoy triple the amount of beans. All you have to do is sow three seeds around each cane.
If you are not watering the plant properly, the roots will tend to stay in the upper portion of the soil instead of growing deep to get more water. Consequently, the nutrient supply to the plant will be affected. So, never compromise on watering.
One way of ensuring the plants get proper nutrients is to use fertilizers. Miracle-Gro Shake ‘N Feed Plant Fertilizer (buy it here) can help you compensate for the nutrients in the soil and grow better-quality pods. Besides, it also helps fight the beans’ diseases.
So, if you are planting three runner beans per cane, make sure you have completed all the arrangements beforehand.
Why Planting More Than Three Runner Beans per Cane isn’t Recommended?
Picking up pods at a younger age requires you to look through the plant every day or two. More than three runner beans per cane result in strangled branches. Consequently, strangled branches make harvesting a hassle.
The foliage of runner beans is thick. If you can manage three runner beans, it’s amazing; most people think it’s a hassle and prefer to go for two or one runner bean per cane. If you plant more than three runner beans per cane, the vines strangle, making it challenging to find the pods.
Besides, there is a need for enough water and nutrients. If you cannot manage the provision of an appropriate amount of water, you will have to face the consequences. So, it is recommended to stick with three runner beans per cane and not more than that.
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