Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Has Beans

I've tasted the first of this year's broad beans. You may remember that the seeds were sown last autumn and the plants were overwintered in the cold greenhouse. I'd hoped to get them planted out at the allotment much sooner than they were, but due to the cold start to the year, they languished in their pots longer than I wanted them to. The plants rallied round once they got their roots in to the soil, and were flowering quite early in the year. I think overwintering the plants in the greenhouse was a good idea, and had I got the plants in the ground sooner, I believe I'd have had a much earlier harvest. As it is, the harvest was delayed yet again due to the fact that the allotment has been neglected recently. My dad was taken in to hospital and has undergone surgery, he's home now but will have to go back again soon, so we've been back and forth to the hospital, also running errands for my mum, and this on top of all the other family commitments which came up in June left us with little time for the allotment. When we did manage to sneak some time for a plot visit, we came across comedy sized broad bean pods. The broad beans inside were past their best, but we managed to time it right to pick the next batch at prime time, and there's plenty more to come yet so I really need to keep an eye on them now. Last year was the first time that I've grown broad beans, and I liked them enough to grow them again this year. I've now decided that I won't bother growing them next year. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I prefer other types of beans more, so I'd rather dedicate the space to them.

I'm hoping that I manage to grow some decent sweetcorn this year. I used to grow sweetcorn in containers in the garden before I had the allotment, and the plants were always healthy and provided nicely filled cobs. I haven't managed to grow a decent cob since I've had the allotment. I got the plants transplanted a few weeks ago and they look to be doing well so far, but it's a waiting game now. Some years, the plants have been stunted, but they're growing nice and tall this year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get some decent cobs.

I've planted some squash in the same bed as the sweetcorn. Crown Prince and Sunburst are in this bed and Queensland Blue in another bed. The three sisters planting method is where you grow sweetcorn, squash and beans together in the same bed. I don't have any beans growing in that bed, so I suppose it's a two sister bed, though the sweetcorn and squash aren't growing together exactly, the sweetcorn has been planted in a block formation and the squash has been planted at the other end of the bed. It should give the plants plenty of room to sprawl. I didn't have much luck with my squash last year either, so I hope they do better for me this year too.

16 comments:

  1. Your sisters bed is like mine where the sister live close together but aren't touchy feely types.

    Hope your dad progresses well - hospital visiting does drain you doesn't it everything has to be strictly timed to fit in with visiting hours.

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    1. They would probably strangle each other given half a chance, like many sisters. Thank you for your good wishes for my dad. Hospital visiting is very draining, and the times we weren't visiting, we were dropping off my mum and picking her up again, so fitting everything in had to be timed to a fine art.

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  2. We've just had the first broad beans too, delicious. Sorry to hear your dad has had to go into hospital, hope all is well soon. Queensland Blue and Crown Prince are two squashes I'd like to try next year - somehow I left it too late this year - so I'll be interested to know how they turn out for you. Hope you have a good week.

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    1. I'm hoping that they get him sorted out sooner rather than later, he's been hanging around long enough now, since last December actually. I'm hoping that I manage to harvest some squash this year, last year was a bit of a washout and I only managed a couple of Sunburst so it would be good to try the other two.

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  3. I've not picked any broad beans yet. I sowed sweetcorn seeds a month ago and few germinated so I've resowed the area with dwarf French beans. I also gave up with courgettes and squash as they didn't germinate either.
    Fingers crossed that all yours does well. Flighty xx

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    1. It's been a bad year for seeds germinating, though I had issues with squash last year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the sweetcorn do well, it's a bit like a challenge to get some decent cobs now.

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  4. Sorry to hear of your troubles, I do hope things start to get easier for you. I am hoping for our 2nd harvest of broad beans tonight. I only transplanted my sweetcorn yesterday, I hope I haven't left it too late, I have stuck a few chard plants between the spaces of mine, hopefully I shall have a harvest from something in the bed.

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    1. Thank you. My dad's got another appointment for later on in July so I hope they get him sorted out then. I'm hoping we get some sunshine soon, I believe it's been forecast for the end of the week and in to next week, it should bring everything on nicely. I've got some chard yet to plant out.

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  5. It's all seems so hit and miss sometimes doesn't it.

    Oh....I do love those beans, mine are still tiny, but my peas are swelling nicely, it must be all the rain.

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    1. I've failed miserably with peas this year. My first sowing didn't germinate so I didn't bother sowing any more. I've got some mange tout which seem to be doing ok though.

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  6. With all that going on I think you have done well to grow anything. Hope your Dad is soon "full of beans" again!

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    1. Ha ha, very good. That brought a smile to my face. Thank you for your good wishes.

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  7. It won't be long before we're picking our broad beans.. I'm not a great lover of them really, I'll eat a few. I would prefer not to grow them and use the space for something else but hubby loves them.
    Hope your dad is better soon. Take care.
    Julie :o)

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    1. I don't think it's wasted space if your hubby loves them. My hubby isn't very keen and the kids won't eat them, so I'd rather devote the space to something else. Thank you for your good wishes for my dad.

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  8. With best wishes to your Dad for a speedy recovery after the next appointment.

    I love sweetcorn, I'm growing the baby variety as well this year - but I've discovered they really do have to be caught at exactly the right moment, they don't stay 'baby' for long!

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  9. Thank you. I've never grown baby sweetcorn, I'm having enough trouble growing the larger variety. Perhaps it's a good job I'm not growing it this year anyway, timing seems to be a problem for me at the moment. Good luck with it, I look forward to seeing how you do.

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