A runner bean question (and hope for old spuds?)

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15 years 5 months ago #15434 by jen
Hi all,
I'm starting to work through the existing somewhat neglected veggie patch at my new place. Bought some seed but also some seedlings of things that were a bit late to sow now.

So we choose a spot for climbing beans, there's an established framework there and I actually found a dried bean pod still on the vines that had climbed up there at some time in the past. I start weeding and figure I'll pull out the 'old' beans to make room for the new ones, but I pulled up a fairly good sized tuber. The tuber looked healthy, firm and crisp but only had the very beginning of some white roots on it.

If these were just annual beans would there be a rhisome? I would have taken a pic but I wanted to put it back in, it was sort of 3-pronged like a very malformed carrot.

If they ARE perennial runner beans it is unusual to have not a single sprout coming up yet or it it early still? (the soil is on the dry side and if someone tells me they may well be good I'll water them first thing! Just didn't want to be working wet soil when I was weeding!)

Near the beans I found a mounded row of spuds (under a big pile of weeds) I suspect they're old but the leaves are just starting to come up and we have none planted yet as we're still just getting settled? Would they be any good? Or should I pull them out. We bought some last week but they're just starting to sprout now so aren't ready. We have these planned for a different patch anyway as my companion planting guide says not to put spuds near beans!

jen (returned to townie life)
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15 years 5 months ago #234595 by LongRidge
I have been told by a person who should know, that runner beans are perennials. It is rather too early yet, unless your weather has been much warmer than ours, for much sprouting. BUT slugs and snails will be rampant, so kill the slugs and harvest the escargots.
The old spuds will grow and make moderately good potatoes. BUT they will no longer be virus free (like your new seed spuds should be, if you bought them from a reputable place), so grow your new spuds away from them.

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15 years 5 months ago #234601 by Jack
Gidday

No need to plant your bean seeds as the old ones will be sprouting soon and actually be quicker than seeds anyway.

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15 years 5 months ago #234620 by jen
Ok thanks guys. SO too early for sprouting.. cool. So that means they might be alive and well. I will start watering them and keep them clear of weeds. I may plant the new seeds in a different spot anyway, judging from the pod that I found on the trellis they don't seem like a stringless variety, the ones we bought are. But I will definitely give them a chance to see if we like them or not. Any idea when they should be sprouting?

As for the spuds, yup the new ones are going in a completely different bed. I'm actually not keen on there being spuds in the spot where I found them, but will let them grow this time around and clear them afterwards so they won't come back.

Thanks heaps! I'm sure I'll have more questions as the season progresses!

jen (returned to townie life)
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15 years 4 months ago #237192 by Ferngreen
I had planted some scarlet runners up against a fence, mainly for the cover and their flowers. The seeds that dropped gave me a lovely show the following year aswell.
Would they need replanting somewhere else this year to combat disease. What do you think Jack?

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain. author unknown.

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15 years 4 months ago #237373 by Jack
Gidday

Scarlet Runners should last for several years just left to re-sprout on their own. My favourite been them are.

Just carefully dig down to check if they have healthy looking tubers as they should be nearly ready to sprout by now.

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15 years 4 months ago #237579 by jen
Hey there! Thought I would post an update. I hadn't looked at my beans in a couple of weeks but checked on them today after reading the new posts on this thread yesterday.
They're definitely sprouting! Yaaaay! (Even the one I pulled up and replanted after realising my mistake!)

So tell me now.. should scarlet runners be picked young and small and then eaten pods and all? Also if the bean plants are old...are the beans not as nice? Or it is just production that drops away. We don't have a clue how old these are!
Thanks for all the help its been really useful so far!!

jen (returned to townie life)
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15 years 4 months ago #237755 by Jack
Gidday

Scarlet runners do need to be picked young and small and then they are at their best.

Make sure you keep the moist and picked regularly because if the beans start to get anywhere near mature they will stop producing as many flowers.

And as for you last question I think the beans are nicer and that they actually produce more as the plants are more mature.

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15 years 4 months ago #237958 by jen
Awesome Jack. Thanks again!

Can't wait to have my very own beans :) Glad they're supposed to be picked small cause I bet I wouldn't be able to wait anyway!!

jen (returned to townie life)
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15 years 4 months ago #238042 by Jack
Gidday

Blody good raw straight off the vine too.

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