The scarlet bean not only has amazing fruits, but also have beautiful red flowers that attract bees and pollinators to the garden. We’ve found them to be a delightful addition to the Booyong veggie patch.
Growing – The scarlet runner bean is a perennial plant. The beans are stunning and quite large with a beautiful pink, violet colouring. The best time to grow them is in Spring, planted in full sun, 5cm apart in organic soil. Be sure to provide support as they are fast growing and attach to anything close by. We’ve had to secure the frame they grow on securely into the ground.
Care – Scarlet runner beans require little attention once planted other than regular watering being careful not to saturate the soil.
Companion Planting – As Scarlet runner beans are vigorous climbers, they can be grown to protect other plants and vegetables from the afternoon sun. They are nitrogen fixes and will also benefit the soil.
This bean will not self-pollinate and is reliant upon insects to assist so consider growing some marigolds to attract bees close by.
Pests and Diseases – Keep your beans from becoming overcrowded or remaining in wet conditions to avoid fungus developing. If pests emerge diatomaceous earth lightly dusted around your plants to assist.
Harvest – Regulate picking will encourage more flowers and fruit. Beans are an awesome purple colour and can be blanched and then frozen and can also be dried (for future use) or stored in salt.
Propagation – Propagate by seed, planting in Spring after the last frost.
Eating – Scarlet runner beans are quite tasty, with a texture like baked potatoes when cooked. They can only be eaten raw (pods and all) when young as they contain lectin which can be toxic if eaten raw or in large amounts. As they age, they become fibrous and are better cooked.
Beans can be soaked (for approx. 6 hours), sprouted, fermented, or blanched at a high temperature.
They are quite tasty lightly fried in a pan on high heat with garlic and a little butter and if you’re a meat eater you can add some bacon bits for more flavour.
You can even cook them and blend them with garlic, a little oil, and tahini to make a broad bean hoummos (a favourite in our home).