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Old October 13, 2016   #1
Labradors2's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,595
Default Good runner beans for NA

I grew Insuk's Wang Kong this year and they shut down in the heat/drought/constant wind, but revived with the cooler/wetter weather and were quite productive, so I'm happy with them.

I've been reading about all the lovely varieties that people grow in the UK.

Lady Di, which takes a long time to form the beans inside the pods which makes the pods stay tender for longer (and they are stringless!)

White Lady. White flowers attract the pollinators

St. George. Has pretty red-and-white flowers.

Has anyone had any success with these, or other varieties? I'm not finding much online about runners on this continent and I suspect that most of them do better in the UK climate.

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Old October 13, 2016   #2
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: California Central Valley
Posts: 2,449

Runner beans do well for me in the SF bay area, where we have cool nights in the summer. Typically in the 50s at night and 70s to low 80s in the daytime. I planted about 6-7? years ago and one plant has come back from the root ever since. In climates where the ground doesn't freeze, the roots form a huge mass. The plant dies back to the ground when it gets cold, and then resprouts early in the spring. All I had to do was water every couple of weeks (we get virtually no rain from April/May to October). My plant stopped making beans about 2-3 weeks ago, possibly because I missed watering during a heat wave.

I don't recall what variety I planted. It was probably from a packet sold by Renee's or Botanical Interests.
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Old October 13, 2016   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
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I tried Moonlight this year. Supposedly this one has some pole bean (P. vulgaris) in its ancestry. It bloomed profusely with nice white flowers, but did not set well in our heat. I finally did get some pods once things cooled down a bit, but they were not as long and filled as I have had with other varieties, including IWK.
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Old October 13, 2016   #4
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: WI, USA Zone4
Posts: 1,890

I first grew runner beans about 8 years ago. At the time, I was having a cool Spring/cool early Summer. Lady Di grew like a weed and eventually had a vine about 12 feet long. It was a very high yielder and the beans were good. I tried several times after that and they hardly did squat in the warmer weather. You are at the mercy of the weather growing runners...a real flip of the coin.
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Old October 13, 2016   #5
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 13,334

Insuk's Wang Kong did surprise me this year. They actually flowered and produced for us here in Texas. We mostly grew them to see the flowers. Of course they didn't like the 90+F heat. For us, they did much better than the other 4 varieties we planted.
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