Scarlet Runner is an ornamental and edible climber or trailer. It bears large, showy sprays of bright scarlet flowers, followed by loads of slender pods about 8" long. Young pods can be used as snap beans or can be allowed to mature for shelled fresh use or dried for winter. GARDEN HINTS: Keep beans picked for continuous bearing; shell mature pods and use as dried beans.
Sow in average soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. Sow seeds about 3" apart along a fence or trellised netting. Or, set poles into ground 2-3' apart and plant 6-8 seeds around each pole. Cover with 2" of fine soil. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow
Thin to stand about 6" apart. If you grow runner beans on a trellis, it should stand 5-7 tall. Keep beans well -watered during dry spells. A row of pole beans 5 long will supply one person; an A packet will grow a 60 row of beans. This is the best green bean for cooler climates.
Most gardeners cultivate runners solely as ornamentals, but their seeds are edible at any of three stages: snap, shell, or dry. Like other beans they are an outstanding source of protein. Treat young pods, which should be sliced before cooking, like common snap beans, and harvest when the pods are still flat, about 60 days after sowing. For shell--or half-mature--beans begin harvesting when the pods have filled out but before they begin to change color, about 70 days after sowing; for dried beans, allow the pods to mature fully on the vine. If frost threatens before the seeds are fully mature, pick the pods, spread them in a single layer in a warm location out of direct sunlight, and let them dry. To store dried beans, shell and seal in an airtight container. Runner beans pretty flowers are edible and have a distinct bean flavor; they also attract hummingbirds.