Friday, 29 April 2011

Housekeeping

The last of the broccoli posing with the first of the radishes

Well, the Sprouting Broccoli has finally finished. Another great crop from one of my favourite vegetables. But what goes round comes round, so they say, and today I have removed the Broccoli plants to make space for the next crop - climbing beans. The plot looks bare now, but it won't stay like that for long!


The bed in the foreground is the one in which the Broccoli was. I expect the Asparagus in the bed behind it will be grateful for the extra light. Make the most of it you Asparagus, because those climbing beans will soon blot out your light again! Here they are, waiting impatiently for their bed to be made up, like hotel guests who have arrived before Check-in time!


Actually, the Asparagus is doing really well. On Easter Sunday I harvested some absolutely enormous spears.


In preparation for planting the beans I have added to their bed a generous layer of home-made compost, and a sprinkling of pelleted chicken manure. I know the birds would dearly love to scratch around in the insect-rich compost, but whilst I don't mind them having a feed, I would rather not have them re-distributing the compost all over my shingle, so I have loosely covered the bed with a stretch of chicken wire. This will allow the birds to grab the insects but without too much "fossicking"... It doesn't make a very exciting photo, but you know me - I try to record everything!


Here's an arty photo of one of my feathered friends waiting for a turn at choosing a worm or two.



My second sowing of peas is doing OK now, by the way. Before they germinated they were dug up twice by the foxes, so I had to resort to netting the whole peas-&-beans bed in its entirety. I expected to lose a few of the pea seeds, and aimed-off for this by sowing extra thickly, but I may perhaps have overdone it...


These peas may be a bit too crowded by normal standards, but I'm going to leave them like that and see what sort of a crop I get. I may need to be more generous with the water this year.

17 comments:

  1. So great seeing you plants doing well. I wish I had that amount of space too. I am also planting beans this season, I will put them along with the pumpkins, I hope they grow ok.

    Oh, and for your aphids, try growing some chive or small onions around them, it will help get rid of them

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  2. We always sown peas thickly and they don't seem to mind - we netted ours too.

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  3. My peas are almost to the top of their 4 ft fence now; still waiting for a bloom.

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  4. Chomping at the bit here to get something in the ground - envious. My broccoli1 sprouts died. WIll start again or if needed, just start with little plants from the store. As it is only year #2 I won't get too discouraged.

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  5. Hmm, have you done a post about the asparagus before? I'd like to put some in but I don't really know what sort of spot they like. Or how big an area they need... or how many to plant... or...

    Lol, I know nothing, and I'd like some like yours please. They look blooming fabulous.

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  6. I love the chicken wire and allowing the the birds to share without digging everything up. Gardeners are such good problem solvers I think.

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  7. I have used chicken wire and even just thorny branches to keep my cats out of my beds. You work with whatever you have that will do at the moment, I guess.

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  8. Ohhh...fresh asparagus harvest yummy!

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  9. Your plot is a real inspiration Mark. I must get some chicken netting, I want to try "earthing up" some of my potatoes with straw, but need to keep it from blowing away too. The experiments continue. You put your beans in quite early?

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  10. Janet: Thanks for the compliment! I put my climbing beans in on 10 April. I am hoping to erect their climbing-frame this weekend, and plants the beans out soon after. Maybe Monday?

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  11. Those are some very impressive asparagus. Do those beans transplant pretty well? I must admit that I have never tried that as we normally direct seed ours but with such cool springs the past couple years I need to consider other options.

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  12. Your asparagus look great. How long have you had them in for?

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  13. Your plate of veggies looks wonderful! I will be so glad when I can plant my beans out - not long now!

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  14. Mr.H: I have sowed my bean seeds in pots for the last couple of years (mainly to avoid for as long as possible the threat of the dreaded Vine Weevil), and it has worked out well. Also, sowing them in pots means you can keep them under cover if the weather is very bad. I have had no problems with transplanting them.

    Mrs Bok: My Asparagus is in its 4th year now. Last year was its first year of full harvesting.

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  15. Hi Mark, how early can you start broccoli and asparagus? Foxes..really, they sneak up like that into your yards? Bold things. The foxes here in the states are hardly seen except at twilight and in very rural areas. They, in general, are not pests. Most rural gardeners struggle with deer as garden munchers here :)

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  16. Hi Jenni; I normally sow broccoli seeds in May some time, and I plant out in about July. I keep the seedlings in pots until some space becomes free - usually after my Broad Beans have finished. I grew the Asparagus from 1-year old crowns, not seed, but now would be a good time to plant crowns I think. As you probably know, Asparagus takes a fair while to get established, and it is not until Year 3 that you can really start cropping it fully. Foxes are a real pest here. The urban variety seems to have no fear of Man any more.

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