The Q&A Archives: Beans Producing Poorly

Question: Can you tell me why white half runner beans produce so poorly? A fifteen foot row produced perhaps half a gallon.

Answer: Runner beans are slow to produce flowers in hot, dry weather, and unlike other beans, runner bean flowers require pollination to set pods. If you can adjust your planting dates to correspond with cooler spring and autumn temperatures, your plants will likely be more productive. You can help things along by applying mulch to the soil to help keep the roots cool, and by holding back on fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will produce lots of foliage, at the expense of flowers and bean pods.

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