Runner beans. Rotate plantings.

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by capney, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. capney

    capney Head Gardener

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    Just wondering. I have been growing runner beans against the south wall of my garage for many years. Can’t really grow them anywhere else. Question is, should I keep doing this? I have noticed this year they are not as strong as other years. Maybe the soil needs a good update. Thoughts on this please.
     
  2. Freddy

    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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    I seem to recall a fellow plot holder always grew his runners in the same place every year. Pretty sure this involved lots of preparation prior to planting (autumn/winter). Deep digging, lots of organic material. When I was there, he had great beans.
     
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    • capney

      capney Head Gardener

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      Organic....that’s something I have forgotten about. Thanks Freddy.do my best to dig in some late autumn.
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        I have in the past kept runner beans in the same place for several years. Every autumn masses of compost were trenched in so soil was very rich and moisture retentive.
        However, I grow fewer beans now so tend to move them around now....I do this to avoid a possible build up of pests and diseases.
        Cropping is as good as ever it was when grown in a permanent site.
        The “secret” is indeed in, as Freddie said, adding plenty of organic matter to the planting site. :)
         
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        • Mike Allen

          Mike Allen Total Gardener

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          I remember my father used to grow runners in the same place. He'd driven four chestnut posts into the ground, spaced about ten feet apart. Each post had a bottom and top crossbar about three feet. Galvanized wire was stretch from each crossbar. Preparation was simple. A few handfuls of lime spread over the forked soil and worked in following a frost. Then not much more than a drill was taken out along the base wire. A couple of handfuls of bone meal went into the drill, the rake was then used to moreorless cover the meal.

          Come the time, the saved beans were given a day's soak and then sown directly along the drills. None of this starting off in pots & trays. The beans appeared, never knew of any failures. Strings were then tied to the top and botton wires next to the new plants. Always a good crop, never any bugs etc.

          The ground space between the rows was used to sow brassicas for planting out. Also lettuce and radish.
           
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          • shiney

            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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            I've grown my beans in the same place for 45 years and the current plants are 12ft to 14ft high with beans already formed. All I do each year is dig in 6" of home made compost each Autumn.
             
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            • Sian in Belgium

              Sian in Belgium Total Gardener

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              If you haven’t improved/fed the soil each year, there is a chance that it has “worn out”. How quickly this might happen depends on the starting point, or natural state, of your soil.

              If the soil in your garden generally is good, then it would take many years for it to become exhausted. If your soil starts as quite poor (I’m thinking of my nearly-pure sand that is my “base” soil), it does not take many years for it to wear out, even if you start with compost.

              My first veg bed here was 8” of compost on top of overturned turf, in a raised bed. After 2 years the soil was totally spent. What little goodness I added had been used up by the vegetable plants, and the nearby plants growing towards some goodness! I dug out the bed to about 1 metre, and filled with compost/manure mix. I’m hoping that I can get away with just changing the top 50 cm of soil each 3 years, rotating the digging between my now 3 veg beds.

              ....Ramblings to illustrate that depending on your soil, you may have used up the goodness/water-retentive qualities of the soil.

              If you dig down, and see that the soil quality has deteriorated, you can rectify by digging down this winter, replenishing with compost, and ensuring that you mulch generously each year, in future....
               
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              • Jiffy

                Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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                I rotate my beans every year with my spuds, mulch through out winter, we've just started picking yesterday 14 days later than last year, they look good so far :)
                 
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                • capney

                  capney Head Gardener

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                  This is what I think I need to do Sian. I have a dylek styhle composter I can take some out the top and trench in fresh stuff from the kitchen. this I must do. My thanks for all the advise guys and gals
                   
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