Runner beans germinated under heat will be ready for harvesting in early July.
A cloche grown April crop should be ready in late July and the main crop during August and September.
It is important to pick all the beans as they become ready before the seeds start to swell inside the pods.
The young runner beans are also more tender and less stringy.
Runner beans are past their best when the beans inside the pods begin to obviously show and the skin of the bean pods has a coarse texture.
Always look for hidden pods behind the bigger leaves at the base of the plants, because the more the runner beans are picked the greater the yield.
After all the bean pods have been picked, cut the foliage at the base but leave the roots in the ground. This will provide a good source of nitrogen for the soil.
Burn the stems of the runner bean plants as they are too woody for making compost.
Most varieties of runner beans are suitable for freezing.
Take advantage of this and have an all year round supply of healthy home grown vegetables.