Just Photos

Beans & Sunflowers

If you remember way back in the early part of this summer, I told you about interplanting my bean with my corn. Well, it was a terrible year for corn, so I’ve really got nothing exciting to tell you about that. However, what I didn’t mention before was that I also interplanted some scarlet runner beans with my sunflowers. And while neither grew to their full potential due to the poor growing season, I really enjoyed the way they looked together.

(Psssst. Don’t mind my weeds! Also, click these pictures for a clearer picture.)

I had to add some support for the bean vines, since the sunflowers fell way short of the size they should have grown to. Next year I plan to try this again – and perhaps even add some of these beans to my grapevine trellis by the garage.

6 replies on “Beans & Sunflowers”

For the last two years, I have grown those purple runner beans (I think they’re Italia brand) and they’ve grown well. Much better than any other runners I’ve tried. They’re quite early producers, so they even did well this year despite the cold. Last year was decent, especially the fall, so they grew well and produced tons of beans. I highly recommend them if you like runners.

I also planted beans beside my sunflowers, but they must have been bush beans, because they only went about 1 foot high, and it was a pitiful harvest, but the sunflowers were huge! Unfortunately, they didn’t flower in time, and now they are dying without having formed seeds.

i wanted to unlurk to say that i really enjoy your posts! i just moved to my dream farm-type property near edmonton and had a very good first year’s vegetable harvest, considering i know nothing about gardening. looking forward to creating a greenhouse from your plans. curious: have you had any success with winter harvests? i’ve been reading elliot coleman and his tales of unheated lettuce and spinach growing make a little giddy.

Jen – I’ve not done much with ‘winter’ crops, though I have some friends who plant lettuce in their greenhouse in the fall and have SUPER early lettuce crops in the spring. I’m not sure if Elliot Coleman addresses the more harsher climates, but winter in Maine is probably a little kinder to plants than winter in Alberta! But it’s sure worth a try!

I recommend using Trellis Netting to support your scarlet runner beans. I used some for my beans last year and it worked very well. This netting can be found at

[img] Netting Beans.jpg[/img]

I’ve let my Runner Beans climb strings 10″ apart attached to the eaves of my garage for 15 years and have to climb a ladder to harvest those hanging from the gutters.
Indeterminate tomatoes were planted in front of the beans, but this year replaced by potatoes which, I am told, are great companions. I can’t find the article but beans help repel potato beetles and potatoes help beans somehow.

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