Saturday 28 August 2010

Progress Report -- Beans

Had a close look at the Bean situation today...

The climbing French Beans "Cobra" have been good, and it was nice that they came on well before any of the Runners were ready, but they are just about finished now. Just one or two pods available. They sometimes have a late second flush, so here's hoping.

The Runners have not produced a huge amount -- yet. Due to all the problems I had with Vine Weevils in the Spring (having to re-sow twice) they are a long way behind what I would normally expect. Most years, the Runners produce thier main crop in late July / early August, but so far we have only had a few. Enough to keep us going, but not enough to be able to freeze any for Winter use. Last year by this time we were in a glut situation, and I froze loads of Runners. Maybe all the rain we have had this last week will do them some good? Usually they keep on producing until the first frosts, so I am hoping they have a few more weeks to go. Having said that, I heard that they had a frost in Scotland one day this week, so who knows what might happen?

Those of you have been following me recently will have seen my picture of the lovely Runner Beans posed on the Susie Cooper plate...

Runner Beans -- a prize-winning collection, I reckon!

In retrospect, I have concluded that whilst this photo shows off the beans quite well, it perhaps doesn't do justice to the plate -- or indeed give an indication of the size of the beans. Well, I measured the plate today. It is 35cm long. The others in the set are 30cm and 40cm. So the beans were about 35cm long then. For those of you who are interested in such things, here are some photos of the plate...

The Susie Cooper 35cm plate

Detail of the Susie Cooper plate

The Italian Gold are doing better than I had expected. Still not a massive yield, but quite respectable. One advantage they have is that it is easier to spot the beans in amongst the foliage...

Italian Gold coming along quite nicely

The Borlotti are just beginning to show some colour. I'm leaving these for picking right at the end of the season, with a view to drying them. Hopefully they will live up to their name -- "Firetongue" and turn a nice red colour.

Borlotti, beginning to show a little bit of colour

Lastly, there are the Dwarf French Beans, Delinel. The first batch of pots (a total of 10 plants in 3 pots) is pretty much at "End of Life" now, just producing the odd one or two pods. You can see in this picture that some of the leaves are beginning to go yellow and wrinkly, and the few pods there are are weak and weedy. They have to go (soon...).

Delinel on its last legs...

The second batch of pots, sown several weeks later, are just producing their first pods now -- despite a bit of a battering in the stormy weather this last week. I expect to harvest the first ones within a few days. The foliage is nice and fresh and green, and there are plenty of flowers and young pods.

One of the newer batch of Delinel beans
So, in general, not bad. Just hope the Runners have a late rally...

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