Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Flowering

I sowed my broad beans back in autumn and overwintered them in the cold greenhouse. They were sturdy plants at the start of the year, and in a normal year, would have been planted out much earlier than they actually were, but because of the cold start to 2013, they were held back in their pots much longer than I liked. This encouraged them to grow rather leggy and they weren't the best specimens when they were eventually transferred to the plot at the beginning of April. Nevertheless, they seem to have rallied, they look much stronger than they did when planted out, and they're now flowering. It won't be long until I'm prising each bean from it's velvety bed.

It's been a busy bank holiday weekend here. Although there's plenty of jobs to be getting on with, both in the garden and at the allotment, we also like to have days out, and there's other jobs around the house to do too, so it's always a juggle to get the balance right. We did have some days out, but we also managed to get both the back and the front gardens tidied up, and the grass also got another cut, it's second of the year. It's grown so quickly since it was last mowed. The fruit bushes have finally been transferred to the plot. A bed was prepared and a blackcurrant bush, gooseberry bush and two rhubarb crowns now reside in it. I also got lots of sowing and potting on done. The five pepper plants are now in their final pots and look to be producing their first flowers. I've only grown one or two pepper plants at once before so I'm hoping for a better harvest than usual from them. I had a mammoth sowing session, two kinds of climbing French beans - Cobra and Blue Lake, dwarf French bean - Safari, runner bean - St George, mangetout, Golden Sweet, broccoli - Rudolph, swede - Brora, three varieties of squash - (summer) Sunburst, (winter) Crown Prince and Queensland Blue, two varieties of courgette - One Ball and Mikinos, sweet corn - Early Extra Sweet, five varieties of sunflower - Tall Single, Irish Eyes, Autumn Beauty, Paquito and Teddy Bear, and morning glory - Heavenly Blue. I also resowed my three varieties of cucumber - Crystal Lemon, Fanfare and Mini Munch, as the ones which germinated previously had grown rather leggy, and Fanfare didn't germinate at all, so I hope this batch do better. More containers were planted up with potatoes, there's now thirteen pots at various stages of growth and more yet to plant up.

I've got a list of jobs which should be done very soon. The tomato plants are growing nicely and should be potted on in to their final positions within the next couple of weeks. The Desiree potatoes which I bought to try at the allotment still need to be planted. The bed is all prepared so it's just a case of getting them in to the ground. A trench has been dug and filled with compost ready for the parsnips to be sown, so that's something else which I'll hopefully get round to this week. It's such a busy time of year, but with weather like we've had over the weekend, jobs seem to get done so much quicker. I hope you've all had a productive weekend too.

38 comments:

  1. Broad beans are one of my favourite veg, I have two rows of them this year but they are not quite as advanced as yours. I'm trying One Ball too and another one called Piccolo.
    Best of luck with everything you've sown.

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    1. Last year was the first year that I grew broad beans, so I've grown a few more plants this year after discovering that I like them. I've never grown One Ball before, I thought it was a bit of a novelty having a round courgette.

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  2. I have just come in fro gardening session,I set a bed of beetroot,salad onions and low beans. I was given some strawberry plants in pots so popped them in at one end, they are from someone who does not know the variety, if we like them I will save the runners and plant a new bed in the autumn.
    I have trays of cut and come again lettuce in various stages so they have been moved into light shade. A cup of tea and then it is sewing time.

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    1. This lovely weather really encourages us to get on with jobs in the garden, we have to make the most of it whilst it lasts. You've reminded me that I meant to sow some beetroot, I'll have to put that on my list of jobs to do.

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  3. Aren't broad bean flowers just the loveliest things? A few of my original sown ones have just come into flower - the rest of the bed has now germinated from a third sowing (earlier ones kept rotting in the snow melt...) so my first harvest will be smaller and probably later than previous years but just as tasty.

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    1. I'd like to have a go at the crimson flowered broad beans, the flowers of those look so pretty. The cold start to the year has held many things back, but later sowings should do well.

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  4. Pleased to read about the broad beans. They are pretty hardy aren't they!!

    Doing a lot of juggling here as well..so much to be done this time of year.

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    1. It shouldn't be long now until I'm picking the broad beans, the first harvests seem to be the tastiest, probably because we've been anticipating them for so long. It is a busy time of year, though it's a good kind of busy.

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  5. Good to see flowers on your broad beans. I didn't sow mine until February so mine have got a little to go yet but they are out on the plot and looking happy. I've got more seeds to sow today so need to do some juggling about in the cold frames and greenhouse.

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    1. My greenhouse is so full of seedlings and I'm going to need it soon for the tomatoes, it's such a juggling act at this time of year. I'm sure it won't be long until your broad beans are flowering, especially if this lovely weather continues.

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  6. Did you have a 6 day bank holiday weekend? You managed to do so much! I hope you had the opportunity to put your feet up and admire all your hard work. Thanks for reminding me to sow sweet corn... I meant to do that yesterday, but ran out of time.

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    1. I was pretty whacked at the end of the weekend, especially as we had a couple of days out too. It was good to crack on with some jobs though, I feel as though I'm getting on top of things now.

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  7. Well done with the broad beans, mine are only a couple of inches high so will be a while yet.
    Goodness you were busy. I'm trying runner beans St George this year. The Desiree I planted just a couple of weeks ago are already showing so I'd get them planted as soon as you can.
    Happy gardening! Flighty xx

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    1. I'm looking forward to the first broad beans of the season, they shouldn't be long now. I was attracted to the flowers of the St George runner beans, red and white. The Desiree should get planted this week, the bed's ready and waiting for them.

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  8. If all that lot comes to maturity, you'll have a lot of veg! This time of year is always the busiest in the garden, but I think it is even more so this year, because we had to wait so long before we could get started.
    The first of my BBs are about a foot tall now, and nowhere near flowering, though they do look particularly strong this year. I'm hoping for a good result because we LOVE broad Beans.

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    1. That lot is without everything I've already sown, I just hope I've got enough room for it all, though there's usually some losses along the way. I think everyone was behind with gardening jobs because of the weather, but it really helps when we get a weekend like the one we've just had, especially when an extra day is tagged on. I hope your broad beans do well for you, it seems more important when they're a favourite.

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  9. Goodness Jo you have been so so busy. Its a good feeling though isn't it. Your broad beans are far more advanced than mine though hopefully should catch up in a couple of weeks.

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    1. It was great to catch up on some jobs, I was starting to feel I was behind with everything. My broad beans were sown in autumn so they should really be quite advanced by now, though spring sown ones will soon catch up.

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  10. Your success with those autumn sown broad beans has convinced me to have another go this year. Unlike yours my autumn sown beans were consigned to the compost heap months ago. You'll have beans ready a good few weeks before our spring sown variety.

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    1. I think they'd have made better plants if they hadn't languished in their pots for quite so long due to the cold weather. They've improved since being planted out though, so I should get some sort of crop from them.

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  11. The juggling act is always difficult isn't it - it's the housework that takes the back seat for me!

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    1. It doesn't take much for me to leave the housework, it'll always be here for when I've got more time.

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  12. You have been busy, but it's satisfying to get on track with everything. We have to make the most of the good weather, but it's a balancing act between going out for a break and working around the house, garden and allotment.

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    1. I know there's more needing doing in the garden and at the allotment, but we do like to have some days out too. I think we got the balance just right this weekend.

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  13. It was a great weekend weather wise and lots to keep us busy this time of year. Your seed sowing list looks fab, so exciting to think we'll soon have frost free conditions (which helps).

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    1. We could do with a few more weekends like this one now, it's great to get on top of some of the job which need doing. I'm hoping that by the time the seedlings need to go out, we'll be frost free.

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  14. Goodness, that is a productive bank holiday. I know how you feel re juggling garden, allotment, housework and days out. I find it hard to balance it too. Sometimes I realize that I never get to sit in the garden as something always need to be done.

    Your beans are way ahead of mine, I haven't any flowers yet.

    My my....what a lot of spuds you'll have.....xxxx

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    1. It was great to have some decent weather so that I could get lots of jobs done in the garden. There's always something which keeps you from sitting down. My mum and dad are without a garden now, so I like to share my spuds with them, nothing nicer than home grown potatoes.

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  15. Goodness - busy busy busy you did achieve a lot over the weekend - but the weather was gorgeous wasn't it - back to grey again today though. My beans are nowhere near as far on as yours yet.

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    1. It certainly helps to motivate me when the weather is nice, I just wish it could hang on a bit longer. My beans were sown in autumn, so it looks as though it does give them a head start.

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  16. Gosh Jo you have certainly been busy. Hope that all your new sowings flourish. It's sometimes a challenge to fit it all in with all the
    non gardening activities going on as well but all most enjoyable. Thought about you in Wilkos today - dahlias, glads etc all reduced :)

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    1. The seeds are starting to germinate already, the warmer weather is helping them along. Thanks for the tip off about Wilkos, I'll have to see if I can fit in a trip.

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  17. That really was a productive weekend! You're going to have such wonderful crops with all the varieties you've sown. My French Beans are doing well, but chillies and tomatoes are still a little behind and as for my spuds...well, they still haven't made it into their tubs.

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    1. It's still not too late to get the potatoes in, I've still got loads to go in both containers and at the allotment. I like to try some new things each year, but I also sow some trusted varieties too, always good to have a back up.

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  18. I first tried to comment a couple of days ago, the computer crashed mid sentence and I've been nursing it ever since. But the silver lining is that, while it was at the laptop doctor, I got a mammoth seed sowing session in too. At last I feel I might have caught up.

    Your broad bean flowers are beautiful. Almost too pretty for the allotment!

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    1. I hope the computer crashing wasn't anything to do with me, glad you're up and running again. It's amazing how much we can get done when the computer isn't there distracting us, isn't it? I love broad bean flowers, they're so pretty and could really be in with the ornamentals, never mind the veggies.

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  19. None of my autumn sown beans came so I have had to start again. They are in the ground now but still small and no flowers for a while yet....I am looking forward to eating them though!

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    1. That's a shame about your autumn sown beans, but I don't think spring sown ones will be too far behind. My plants have small beans on them now, I'm getting rather impatient.

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