Runner Bean - Tenderstar
This is a unique new runner bean combining the very best traits of both French and runner beans - Tenderstar really has to be tasted to be believed! The fabulous flavour and tender texture are the result of 15 years of British breeding. Masses of 20cm long, smooth pods are produced throughout the summer, whatever the weather, whilst the stunning bicolour red and pink flowers are an added bonus.
Sow runner bean seed indoors from mid-April for transplanting later on, or direct sow outdoors from late May to July. Sow seed at a depth of 5cm in 7.5cm pots or trays of free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 18-20C until germination which takes 7-10 days. Once germinated, grow runner beans on in cooler conditions until all risk of frost has passed and runner bean plants are large enough to be transplanted. Gradually acclimatise them to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting runner beans outdoors in rich fertile, well-drained soil in full sun or semi shade with protection from strong winds. Plant runner beans in rows that are 1.5m apart, or where space is limited, grow beans onto a wigwam structure. Runner beans require support from garden canes, strings or netting which should be put in place at the time of planting. When growing runner beans provide a thick mulch of organic matter around the base of the plants to help conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. Water runner beans regularly, particularly as the flowers develop. Beans can be harvested from July onwards. Pick the beans regularly and a little on the young side to ensure top quality and prolonged cropping. Culinary note: Suitable for freezing. Caution: Cook runner beans before eating to avoid discomfort.