THE SCARLET RUNNERS, growing on a wigwam in the large bed, are just starting to produce
small beans but we’ve already had a boiling from the white-flowered borlotti beans,
which we’re growing up a garden arch across the path, which is a way of saving the
space taken up by a wigwam of canes. Borlottis can be used when young like runner
beans, they can be left until the beans develop and you can eat them like broad beans
or you can dry the beans for storage in jars to add to soups and casseroles. You
could leave one plant to let the pods fully develop and then save the beans for planting
for next year’s crop.
The Sutton broad beans, planted in the autumn to provide a slightly earlier crop
are still producing pods. The Sutton is a miniature broad bean, suitable for smaller
plots. We thought they might be a bit disappointing at first, as the plants were
so small at about a foot high, rather than two feet or more, but they’ve cropped
for a month or two and the beans are tender.