This week they started off with Runner Beans. You had to show 6 perfectly straight ones, and none of them were allowed to be past their prime. It’s much harder than it sounds. I love growing Runner Beans, they are very giving, and keep producing until the first frosts. They are a little high maintenance, as they don’t like the cold, one little bit. A bit like me really, I prefer to be all snug and warm. There was no mention of when to sow the seeds though. To decide when is the best time to sow them, you have to work backwards. Let me explain. Find out when your last frost date in your area is. Beans don’t like frost as it will kill any bean plant that it comes in contact with. Where I live in the SE of the UK our last frost date is 31st May. Then work back 4 weeks and sow your seeds then (the beginning of May). Make sure you keep them in the greenhouse as this protects them from the frost and cold. Then 7-10 days before you plan to plant them out, get them used to the scary world outside, but putting them outside during the day, and bringing them in at night. If high winds are forecast during the day don’t put them outside as the wind will damage their leaves and maybe their buds. The day after your last frost they can be planted outside, and supported by canes. Four weeks in the greenhouse is enough time for the plants to become sturdy enough to be ready for planting outside. They won’t be too tall and start to twist round each other. They should be about 12 inches tall, which is manageable to more without damaging them.
Here are my videos on How to Sow Runner Beans. Then How to Plant Runner Beans outside. Can’t seem to find the video I did on harvesting Runner Beans, but make sure the beans inside don’t get fat, otherwise the bean has gone too far.
The second challenge of the summer wreath was very interesting, I’m not sure I would have the patients to do something like that, but they all looked very pretty. And finally the challenge to make a sauce and relish. Some very interesting combinations there. Not sure if I’d try the really hot chilli sauce the fabulous men with beards made, or maybe I will, but with fewer chilli’s. I think they’re fab to watch. I think they said something like “We do as little work as possible”. Brilliant!!