Tips For Growing Runner / Climbing Beans And For Saving Seed


Runner Beans (also known as climbing beans or multiflora beans, latin – Phaseolus coccineus) are bean plants which grow by ‘climbing’. They use support to climb up or will creep along the ground and other plants or anything they can use as support.


Beans Growing Up Corn


Beans Growing up Bamboo support

As well as physical frames and supports that can be constructed out of materials like wood, metal plastic etc, they can also be grown up corn plants and sunflowers (also trees and other tall, strong plants). check regularly to make sure the corn is not being strangled anywhere by the plants, as they wrap around.If there appears to be any parts where the plants are wrapped to tightly, gently un-tangle them and re-route them.

They are one of the latest seeds to be sown (in UK they are nearly always sown in May, if the weather is fairly dry and warm at the end of April then it may be worth sowing then). The seeds are prone to rotting in the ground if it is damp, which is why direct soil sowing in May is advisable.

When sowing the seeds, sow them closer than any recommended spacing’s, so that any seed failures / losses will allow there to be other seedlings nearby.

When the flowers have emerged, they can be lightly sprayed with a hose or something similar to help the flowers set. Rain will also encourage the flowers to set.

These plants often do not require heavy feeding, especially if grown with plenty of live soil covering.

The roots of these plants will establish a relationship with bacteria within the soil which will restore nitrogen from the air, and fix it into the surrounding soil. See – Field Beans, Nitrogen (የናይትሮጅን – Yenatirojen), Legumes, Nodules and Bacteria. This nitrogen can be utilized next season by a suitable crop, like qanneh besem, corn, potatoes etc.

A pre-crop of mustard is suitable for runner beans, and then mustard afterwards, if the weather allows for it to be sown.

Runner beans enjoy growing with radishes and kohlrabi.

IMG_0435 (2).JPG


Plants sown in pots, to be planted out, can be sown much earlier, maybe as early as March if protected. We nearly always sow the seeds directly into the ground, and then have some in pots as backups and gap fillers, because when sown directly into the soil, there can sometimes be gaps.

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As they grow, individual plants may require guidance, by gently wrapping them around their support. Also plants can become tangled if they slip off their support, they will tangle with each other. Gently un-tangle them and re-train them to their support.



Kanneh Besem Kat Cat



Harmony – Corn, Bean and Cucumber

IMG_0464IMG_0670Runner Beans

Towards the end of the season, after various harvests and pickings, some pods can be left on the plants to mature into the autumn. These pods will allow the beans to mature into seeds that will grow next season. This technique of leaving some pods on can also be achieved with most other types of beans, and peas too. If there is enough, they can be used for cooking, or instead of harvesting the beans and eating them when they were green, they can all be left for food. Remember that regular picking is what encourages more flowers.

dwarf beans bush

Dwarf / Bush Beans



First the green pods will become more and more rigid as the time passes. Finally they will become brown and crispy, while containing the seeds for next season.


While harvesting, keep checking the pods and beans. Some pods may contain no seeds at all, or very small, undeveloped seeds. And individual seeds may be undeveloped or not proper for use. They can be checked by gently squeezing them, if the seed is soft and squeezy, it is probably underdeveloped. Most of the seeds will be firm, and after a day or 2 of drying, they will be hard if they was not allreaggy rigid when harvested. The seeds of runner beans have a  mottled affect of black and pink / orange.


Examples of dud seeds


Use finger or thumb to slide the seeds out of the pods into a catchment container


The harvested seeds are dried, and then stored.



Mustard = ቢጫ ሰናፍጭ ≡ Beecha SänafaCh = חרדל ≡ Chardal (ስናፔ ≡ Sænapay) – σίναπι = Sanapi


In comparison with other green manuring plants, all of which have their value, mustard has 1 or 2 other advantages for the garden.

Mustard is so simple to sow and so easy to manage. The easy management helps the garden require only light tools and work. What is more, mustard leaves behind no thick stalks for the spring if care is taken to stop it flowering. The light layer of vegetable matter lying on the frozen ground will fall to powder easy with a rake. No other preparation is needed for sowing; everything has all-reggy been done without any fuss and bother in the Autumn.

This process continues: Whenever a row is released from the annual round of sowing because it is too late for another crop, the soil is ventilated and sown with mustard. Even when the seedlings are no more than a few centimetres high, the roots go much deeper and provide a valuable root residue, while breaking up soil so that then next plants have channels to follow.

These small mustard plants, are a very welcome supplement in the form of salads and pot erbs; they are mellower than cress and have good bite. What is more they make a valuable contribution to the health and are especially use-full at this time of year when the garden’s vitamin producers are in gradual recession. Mustard sandwiches are always liked by people.

Mustard is rapid growing, and in a few days a lush, thick green cover can be attained. Just like covering, mustard;

maintains a high quality level of soil,

germinates rapidly (within 12 hours if conditions are optimal),

can disinfect the soil,

repels nematodes,

can be sown over and over again,

keeps the ground moist,

breaks the ground gently with it’s roots,

Has a positive effect,

is really easy to cut down at ground level,

can be sown down to very cold temperatures around -7oc etc.

Matthew 13:31) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:32) Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

Matthew 17:20)And Jesus said to them, Because of your unbelief: For verily I say to you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say to this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you.

Mark 4:30) And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31) It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32) But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

Luke 13:18)  Then said He, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it? 19) It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

Luke 17:6)And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say to this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

No ground needs to be left empty and without life, mustard can be sown in any empty space.

Mustard sown on rows which are not needed yet, can continue until the vegetable seeds will go in, by cutting down the mustard each time it gets to hand height and starting again. Leave the mustard cuttings to lie where they are, and sow more seeds. It prepares the ground, keeps it loose, moist and prevents other plants from growing. Also, absolutely any vegetable can be planted after it without worry of nutrition deficiencies / conflicts and rotation. Whether grown before plants or around them, it rejuvenates and regenerates the soil life. It gives plants a healthy start and enables the roots to grow properly. Because of small hairs on mustard plants, slugs and snails often avoid it.

It appears that a mis-conception exists where mustard is associated with club root, just because it is in the same family (Cruciferae family) as other plants which are susceptible to club root, like cabbage. This is not true, mustard will not cause club root in other plants. It is best to discard mis-conceptions about rotations and plant families and to focus on the relationship of the soil life with the plants and further environment [even the local birds have a relationship with the soil life in a vegetable area, discreet compared to the relationship of the plants, but still there].

In Autumn/Fall, when the short term vegetables are over, some long term seeds can still begin to germinate and even a slight growth is to be expected. In this now ventilated soil, mustard seed is broadcast. Some may fall into the air-holes made with the fork and the remainder needs only to be lightly raked over. The mustard germinates in a few days to give a thick green cover.

In this way, the land is cared for in the best possible manner: It is overgrown with green to prevent most wild and unwanted plants springing up, the roots keep the soil broken up and the soil is shaded to keep it from drying out. Also, since the mustard will not flower, it will consume less water, than would run off bare top soil. Mustard creates a miniature jungle with a moist and shady floor. Also mustard repels soil pests like nematodes and especially potato root eelworm.

Mustard Seeds;

Soil that is awaiting mustard seeds;

Soil fresh and reggy for mustard seeds

It doesn’t take long for the mustard seedlings to grow,


Now the mustard has prepared the ground, and is being removed for a row of new seeds(beans);



Eventually the vegetables will grow;

Vegetable PLot (3)

Mustard and Kannah-Besem;

Mustard Kanneh BesemPNG

Also, see this video on mustard, and how it is not responsible for club-root, but poor soil management and pH balance are the main cause of club root;

Exposing the Mustard Lie – The Club Root Rumour With No Humour


Amharic Dictionary of Mustard:

Amharic Sanape Mustard Greek burn jpg