Thursday, 14 April 2011

Peas and Beans

I've had a bit of a mixed result with my peas and beans.

I sowed two varieties of Broad Bean: Jubiliee Hysor and Imperial Green Longpod. The former have germinated really well, probably 95%, but the latter have been less good: only about 15% so far, although maybe some more will come up within the next few days. In my photo you can see several rows of seedlings. The theory is that each row of Radishes marks a row of Broad Beans, but the trouble is that the radishes on the right have no beans. Close inspection reveals only four bean seedlings in the entire row so far (there should be 24). Have they been eaten by rodents? Am I just being too impatient, or what???

The Jubilee Hysor ones look OK though...

The peas have been even worse. I sowed a 60cm length of each of four varieties of pea - about 50 peas in each I reckon - but very few of them have germinated. In my 2.4m row I reckon I have about 20 pea plants in total.

One variety (Ambassador) has a 0% germination rate! Last weekend I sowed another batch, which hopefully will do a bit better - though early indications are not good, since they were immediately dug-up by the foxes the following night. As I (carefully) dug up the area in which I had sowed the first batch I could find no evidence of un-germinated peas. They had just vanished into thin air. Maybe they were eaten by mice?

The odd thing is that since the weather conditions have been a lot better than normal for this time of year, I would have expected a better-than-normal germination rate. OK, it has been pretty dry, but I have been aware of this and have watered the soil several times since I sowed the peas.

On a brighter note, I have also planted out a load of brassica seedlings - the ones I grew from seed. There are four each of seven varieties: cabbages, various broccoli-type things, and kohlrabi.

I watered the seedlings very thoroughly after planting, sprinkled slug pellets around them, and finally covered them with anti-butterfly netting (which doubles as anti-fox netting!), so they ought to be OK. Oh, and I also applied some anti-Vine Weevil nematodes before planting. If there is any justice in this world, I really should get a good crop!


  1. Everything looks good and is so nice and neat. Maybe you need some inoculant for your beans and peas?

  2. I've never managed to grow peas - ever - so I'm starting them off in pots instead of the ground. Beans - it's a bad year for me. I expect 100% germination and have got nothing. I have another variety which goes in later so I will put my trust in them.

    I don't use slug pellets, which does hamper things.

    Everything looks very neat and well ordered in your garden.


  3. Your garden looks so tidy and well protected from critters! We planted snow peas a few weeks ago and did not get any seedlings. We will try an inoculant when we so more seeds this weekend.

  4. I bet it's mice - the mice ate one whole batch of broad bean seeds planted in pots in our greenhouse. Martyn set traps and has so far caught 6 in three nights.

  5. Hi Mark. You're ahead of the game down there!!! I haven't sown ANY beans yet, and all my peas are in loo rolls. I got so fed up with low germination rates that now I only sow in pots at home and plant out once they are robust.

  6. I am amazed at your neat and tidy garden and it looks like, if all goes well and the critters don't eat everything, you will be able to feed many!I thought we had lots of pests in Florida! But not compared to what you mentioned. In fact, nothing bothers my plants except the odd grasshopper or stink bug. But it is hot here and that is what we have to contend with. Good luck. It looks great!

  7. Wow, impressive. Looks like you really have a head start. Your beds are so neat too, very well done. I was told yesterday by a colleague that Northern Ireland might be getting snow at Easter?!? P.S. mouse traps coming out at urs?

  8. To echo others - it's all very neat :)
    We're having mixed success with beans this year too, one little fella appears to be growing a stalk only.

  9. It's funny that you can't find any evidence of ungerminated peas, that would indicate that mice have taken off with them. I usually start my peas off in pots and plant them out later. I've done that with some already, but thought I might sow direct with later sowings. I haven't sown any beans yet.

  10. Your plot looks so immaculate and well-organised Mark. Sorry about your peas and beans. Mice seem the most likely culprit - I always sow mine in loo roll centres and plant them out as little plants - just what I watched my original mentor doing. Mind you, have experimented by direct sowing some mange tout today, so we will see! You certainly deserve a good brassica harvest if there is any justice!

  11. I too find that direct sown often 'disappears'. I know I have a little mousey in the compost bin so he is probably the culprit. I usually sow at home in loo roll centres orroot trainers. Mousey doesn't seem to bother with them after they've germinated/ It's more work but the only way forward.


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