No sign of the Runners yet, but the first of my Dwarf French Beans are up and running. I have given them a head start with this little contraption - my bean-house:
It is simply a large plastic cloche placed over a suitable pot, and held in place with a couple of Bulldog clips.
The variety of bean I am growing in this thing is called "Speedy". Let's hope it lives up to its name.
I know this is more than would normally be considered sensible, but I sowed seven bean seeds in that pot. Since the beans grow very quickly the compost should be able to sustain them all right. It only needs to last about three months from sowing to harvest, and I will replace it before sowing a second batch in the middle of Summer. As it happens, only six seeds have germinated so far. Maybe the seventh one is just slow, and will appear later, but experience tells me that I must expect one or two failures.
Later on, when the cloche is no longer required, I will put in a couple of sticks to support the bean plants, but they won't really need much since when they are that close together they tend to support each other.
This is where the "Cobra" climbing French Beans are - a much bigger container, in which the same type of plastic cloche fits easily. In due course I will be equipping it with some tall bamboo canes, but there's no need for them just yet.
This is nothing to do with beans, but I want to show it to you anyway... While clearing away the old Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants to make room for my Runner Beans I found this little waif - a really pretty Lettuce seedling.
It must be a survivor from the "Misticanza di Lattughe" selection (from Seeds of Italy) of which I grew some last year. It's only very tiny, so I might move it to somewhere sensible and see if I can grow it on to maturity.
Talking about clearing away the PSB reminds me, here's a tip for anyone else doing this task just now: smash up the big stalks with a hammer before adding them to your compost bin. This helps them to decompose more quickly.
Brassica stalks of all types tend to be very solid, and can take AGES to rot down if they are not broken up beforehand.