How to grow Beans and Peas


Bean emerging after germination Beautiful crimson flowering broad bean Broad bean support system

How to grow Peas and Beans 

Green wheel barrow means easy to growIt is easy to grow Broad Beans, Runner Beans, Peas and French Beans and have a rewarding crop, one of the easiest of all veg to grow, and so definitely green wheel barrow. These are great vegetables to get children interested in gardening because they shoot up quickly, they are trouble free and fun to pick.

Runner beans germinated in root trainersAlso, if you want to try germinating from seed, Runner beans, French Beans and Broad beans are all a good place to start as they are easy to germinate and are economical to grow from seed. Each of these beans are different in terms of growing conditions, how they climb, their hardiness and  have different growing requirements. Even so all are easy to germinate from seed so a good veg to start with if you have not germinated plants before.  Broadly speaking the toughest are the broad beans, then runners beans, and French beans need the most warmth and sun to crop well.  All beans germinate quickly in the right conditions the beans will emerge within 5-7 days of sowing.

All beans like a long root run so sow either into specially purchased root trainers, image left, or cheaper, toilet roll holders. 

Sow in the order you will plant out: Broad beans, Runner beans French beans.

You can sowing directly into the soil in May or buy small plants from the garden centres.

Plants grown from seed need to be hardened off,  that is gradually accustomed to the outside climate. Place outside during the day bring in on cool nights gradually increasing the time outside.

Protect  French beans and Runner beans from frost by covering with cloche or fleece. 

Treat the different types of beans differently; Broad beans are more hardy and will withstand some chilly weather, Runner beans a bit less so but will take it cooler, and French beans are very cold sensitive and really hate chilly winds. 

To avoid gluts plant successively, which means plant out new plants or sow into pots/directly into the soil every 2 weeks. In theory this means plants come to cropping every two weeks but the weather conditions can interrupt this carefully laid plan.

For more detailed information and tips on growing Broad Beans, Runner Beans and Peas

Video advise how to sow and germinate from seed.

video on how to plant broad beans and runner beans


Time table for Growing Beans

This is a guide when to germinate indoors, and when to sow outdoors and planting out times for the various types of Beans and Peas.  The precise timetable will vary depending on the seasonal weather and the aspect of your veg plot.


Germinate seeds under glass in the warm. Start with Broad beans, which can be planted out the earliest, then Runner Beans and later in April French Beans. Seeds need warmth to germinate and so  place on warm windowsill, heated greenhouse or use a heated mat. Place in root trainers or small deep pots/toilet roll holders cover lightly with soil and place in a propagator/ cover but do not exclude light, see video above. Once the seeds have germinated and the plant emerges, remove from the heat so that the plant doesn't grow sappy and keep in all round light to prevent it becoming spindly.  All round light means is either a greenhouse, conservatory or if growing on a window sill rotate regularly to ensure even light and growth. Grow on in Pots to provide sturdy plants for planting out later in the spring. You can skip this stage and sow direct into the veg plot in May see below

Broad beans are fairly hardy and can be planted out once hardened off.


Continue to germinate Broad and runner  Beans to have plants for successive cropping later in year.


Time to start germinating French Beans which are more cold sensitive and need to be planted out last. In warmer parts of the country/sheltered plots plant out  Runner beans with frost protection


By May you can sow direct outdoors Broad beans,  and Runner beans into the veg plot with protection in the event of frost. Later in month sow and / or plant out French beans with frost protection.

Later in the growing season May/June/July  you can sow the  seed directly into the ground when the soil is warmer. Raising the soil temperature varies around the country and with the weather conditions but late April/ May/June rather than March.

May /June

After hardening off plant out all pot grown beans and start to germinate directly outside


Continue sowing all types of beans directly into the warm veg plot until July.

Links to Growing Broad Beans, Runner Beans and Peas
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