Why Scarlet Runner Beans are such a versatile plant/vegetable

  1. They tolerate (even thrive in) our cooler weather in Rochester, NY, producing right up to frost (and are perennial in warmer climates).
  2. Squirrels won’t eat my beans – the uncooked seeds are toxic to them too!
  3. They (mine anyway) seem to be resistant to many insects and diseases.
  4. Tall attractive vines are great for trellises, bean wigwams, fences.
  5. Flowers are popular with butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.
  6. Deliciously edible as snap beans (mine are stringless).
  7. Deliciously edible as fresh shelled beans.
  8. Deliciously edible as dried beans.
  9. The cooked bean seeds are large, firm and excellent for soups, chili, and with meat.
  10. The large dried beans are shiny and sensuously smooth to the touch (like beads), making them an excellent craft/decorative supply item.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Organized Living Essentials
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 04:32:59

    Thanks for this interesting post. I had no idea that scarlet beans had so much to offer. I know they are easy and quick to grow but you provided a whole new perspective! I haven’t planted them for quite some time but I think I will add them to my garden this year.


    • Lloyd's of Rochester
      Apr 27, 2012 @ 04:41:28

      Glad you like it. I have become a bit of a fanatic about them. Because they grow so tall I use 5/8″ rebar (10′ long) and drive it at least a foot down, connect it (various ways) to other rebar because they are very flexible and will whip about in high winds if not restrained. I never remove them, and the rusted surface gives the vines grip. I can hardly wait for our growing season to get going!


      • Organized Living Essentials
        Apr 27, 2012 @ 04:50:28

        I will let you know how my scarlet runners turn out. I live in an area where the elements can really affect the garden. I think these plants will be quite hardy for the climate.


        • Lloyd's of Rochester
          Apr 27, 2012 @ 05:08:57

          An interesting fact about runner beans is that they originated in the higher altitudes of South America and therefore actually set beans from the flowers when the temps are in the 70’s, not in hot weather. This makes them wildly popular in the cool U.K. (one of the few places where people know much about them and you can actually buy the fresh and dried beans in the markets).


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