If you are gardening with kids, I can’t begin to tell you about the perfection of Scarlet Runner Beans. And if you are not gardening with kids, I can’t begin to tell you about the perfection of Scarlet Runner Beans!!! Seriously they just are THAT great because they help cultivate HOPE. Take a look at the pictures below. Just look at the seeds. That’s enough beauty to keep me going for days. Stick these seeds in a big pot of dirt, and place it in the sun, full sun (6 hours). Once they start growing and are about 2 inches tall, thin them to be 6 inches apart. Provide some support for them to climb on (I often use a combo of twine and poles).
It won’t be long before you have beautiful red flowers than will eventually turn into HUGE beans. You can eat these, but I don’t. I let them sit on the vine throughout the fall and let them dry out, saving the pods in an envelope so I might use the seeds for next year. Kids love the saving part. They get to watch the pods dry out (and show them what the beans look like inside BEFORE they have dried out). Then once they are dried out, the beans have changed. How cool is THAT?!? And then, you get to plant them again next year. This teaches the kids so much about the cycle of new life, life, kinda dead, dead — but life still lurks there! If that doesn’t teach your kids hope, I don’t know what does. And if that doesn’t teach you about hope then gosh….I don’t know what else to tell you! 🙂
(Hint: In the beginning phases of growth, you may need to use an insecticidal soap to keep the bugs from eating the baby plants. But after a while, the bugs will leave this plant alone. At least here in Colorado anyway.)