Today I picked about 4 lbs of young succulent runner beans from a 30 ft row at the allotment when the beans on earlier sowings are beginning to get long in the tooth, stringy, and on fit only for growing on to provide seed for next year. If we do not get an early frost, I expect to continue to pick runners into November, as I have done in previous years.
The clue to this success is the sowing date – July 1st. Make a note of it and follow my example next year.
The dates herein are relevant to Cardiff, UK and places with a similar climate.
I wish you success
This note applies only to gardening in temperate climes in the northern hemisphere.
It is fairly common practice to sow broad beans now, ready for cropping next June. However in the last two years my autumn sown beans have been devastated by a combination of very cold weather, strong winds, snow and slugs. The beans were easily surpassed by those sown in February which cropped at almost the same time.
So I shall skip the sowing in the coming October, especially since slugs have been a huge problem this year and are probably still lurking about in vast numbers waiting for the fresh new shoots to appear.
Nonetheless, it would be good idea to prepare the ground now while the weather is still fairly mild. What I usually do is take out a trench about 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep right across the allotment plot, add lots of compost in the bottom and backfill. Then in cold February it will be a quick job to pop in the seeds.
I wish you good gardening.