Thursday, 23 August 2012

There's Still Hope

I decided not to grow runner beans this year. We all favour French beans so I sowed lots of them early on in the season hoping to get a good enough harvest to freeze some for the winter months. Unfortunately, the wet summer we've had has encouraged slugs and snails to come out of hiding, and they've munched away on just about anything I planted out. The French beans came to nothing so I sowed again, but the second attempt was also in vain. I decided enough was enough, I'd better get some runner beans started, they just might do better. I believe the variety is White Lady. This photo shows what they're like now. They've just reached the top of their wigwam and now have flowers. I might still have time to harvest a crop if we get some sunshine. Incidentally, I also sowed a third batch of French beans at the same time as the runner beans and they look to be doing ok too. It's a race against time now to see if the plants will produce.

I'm now getting a steady flow of courgettes. It's not the glut I've had in previous years, but I don't mind just so long as there's something there to harvest. I've got two varieties in the ground, Mikinos which is green and Soleil which is yellow. The Soleil hasn't produced anything yet, but again, I live in hope.

Hubby has a week off work next week so I'm hoping that we'll be able to spend a little extra time at the allotment. There's so much weeding and general tidying up to do, as well as getting a patch ready for the fruit bushes I bought last weekend. The back garden is also in need a good tidy so let's hope that the weather cooperates.


  1. I've no courgettes, which I don't mind, and no climbing beans, which I do!
    I've plenty of plotting to do as well, having done very little lately. Flighty xx

  2. You should have time yet Jo. Our runners have just started to produce and still have lots of flowers.

  3. My late sowings of both are just starting to flower so I'm hoping they will produce beans before the frosts. Fingers crossed.

  4. Not a great runner bean fan either Jo but I'm beginning to wish that I had sown some this year as I've seen other folk's runners flourish. I picked the second handful from my second sowing of French dwarf beans today and may possibly just about get a third handful :( My second sowing of climbing French are just starting to flower. Hope that you can make good progress next week.

  5. Sorry Jo, but with the Bank Holiday approaching, the weather is bound to take a turn for the worse!
    You win some, lose some. My Runners have been really good, but I have had no squashes at all this year.
    My Incas tomato finally gave up the ghost this week (blight), but I harvested a fair few green fruits from it, so all is not lost.

  6. Fingers crossed for the weather...we all spend so much time battling the elements it seems harsh that we aren't getting our suspected crops this year. Hope you soon have some least the flowers are a promising sign.

  7. I'm experimenting by sowing beans undercover very early this year and I'm really pleaed with my germination rates - now I'll just have to hope they get through the hardening off process but if they do then - yay very early beans. Hope you get some beans soon.

  8. I've never been a great fan of runner beans so have always grown french ones instead. Apparently this has been a great year for runners with all the rain. I'm loving the white flowers on yours. I'll look forward to seeing your verdict on their flavour and may try some next year.

  9. I also decided not to grow runner beans this year but also regret not having a wigwam now. I've managed to get one lot of purple french beans to the top of the wigwam and they are covered in flowers now so am hoping for some crops and a few dwarf french beans. But as others have said the slugs have done for so much this year, its been a nightmare. But lets hope we have an Indian summer!

  10. I have a late sowing of Scarlet Emperor beans that sound at about the same stage as yours. I'm hoping I get a harvest from them. It's been a tough year for veg growing.

  11. Hope you're managing to get to the plot this weekend, Flighty. Sorry to hear that you've got no French beans, I'm sure many people are in the same boat this year though.

    I'm hoping so, Sue. I don't have much patience, not good for a gardener.

    It sounds as though we're both at the same stage then, Elaine. With a bit of luck we'll get some sunshine yet.

    I think the weather this year has been much better for runner beans than French beans, Anna. I would have sown them in the first place if I'd realised what an awful summer we were going to have. Glad you've managed to harvest some French beans though, savour them.

    The weather hasn't been too bad here today, Mark, but as you say, it's the Bank Holiday so I'm sure it will get worse. Sorry to hear the dreaded blight has hit, fingers crossed that the tomatoes ripen on the windowsill.

    I'm hoping that things come good in the end, Tanya. It would make all the difference if we got some late summer sun, as you say, we seem to be always battling the elements.

    Hope the experiment works out for you, Liz. The only problem with sowing early is that they tend to go leggy, but you might be lucky. An early crop of beans would be lovely.

    As far as I can remember, this is the first year I've grown runner beans with white flowers, Wellywoman. Apparently, they're supposed to be less attractive to birds, but I've never had any problems with birds pecking my red flowers before. I slipped up not sowing them earlier, it wouldn't have mattered had the weather not been as bad as it has, but I've learnt my lesson.

    Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Annie. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an Indian summer. It sounds as though you may get a decent crop from your purple French beans yet though.

    You're right, Kelli, it's been a tough year all round for gardeners. Hope you get a good harvest from your Scarlet Emperors.

  12. That is such a lovely photo! I Love courgette, so lucky :))

    Lots of love,

    Enter my studded corset giveaway in collaboration with Kat Valdez!

  13. Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, Sabina. I love courgettes too, I wish my plants would start producing a few more.


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