Runner Bean - Desiree
In recent years we have introduced and developed vegetables that have achieved real steps forward in yield, flavour, space saving, disease tolerance; etc. This bean fits into this category and is outstanding in every way. Almost fool proof, it attains huge crops from a small area. It produces long, broad, completely stringless, very fleshy 25-30cm pods. It is very heavy cropping, often averages 40 pods per plant. As it is a shy seeder, there is more juicy fleshy edible area, which accounts for the exceptional flavour. Compared with other runner beans it is much more productive under dry weather conditions.
Prefers fertile, moist yet well drained soil which has had plenty of well-rotted compost dug into it the previous autumn. For an early start sow seeds from mid spring in artificial heat (propagator, greenhouse, warm room) in peat pots and plant out after last expected frost. Outdoors do not sow until at least 10 days after last frost, 5cm deep. Sow 2 seeds every 30cm in rows 38cm apart. Remove weaker seedlings after germination. Ensure soil is warm and avoid it becoming baked hard. Water regularly and liquid feed every 14 days during mid-summer. A thick mulch will help conserve moisture. Pick regularly on the young side to ensure top quality and prolonged cropping.