My runner beans had grown vigorously in their root trainers in the greenhouse at home so needed planting out. I had sown one newly bought seed and one collected from last year in each module. I used 'Moonlight' a white flowered variety that produces very tender beans as it is one of the new climbing French/ Runner bean crosses. I had expected quite a failure rate with the saved seed but almost every cell had two strong plants in. They had spent a few days in my grow-house hardening off so were well ready to go out.
Before I could plant them, however, I needed to set up the canes. I used a framework of posts with a rail at waist height supporting the canes. Normally I laboriously tie the canes to the rail but this year I had produced a new rail with holes drilled along it. Unfortunately the holes were not big enough for the canes so my first job was to enlarge them with the drill. This entailed dismantling the rail, drilling each hole out and then reassembling the three parts. Then I had to feed the canes into the holes before lifting everything into place and screwing it down, quite a rigmarole! Next year I shall make the holes big enough to drop the canes through.
Once the canes were set up planting went ahead smoothly. I thought about removing the second seedlings in each cell but decided to leave then for now and will thin them down once they are well established. I finished off by giving them a good dose of water, a sprinkling of slug bait and a strip of doubled fleece wrapped round to protect them from the weather but, more important, the attention of the red legged partridges which love to peck of the growing points. Once they have grown more than a foot high they are safe from the birds.
Once done I picked a large trug full of beans. Some were quite young and I shall try cooking them whole.
Finally I cut 5 asparagus spears, a cabbage and some kale before going home.