Thursday, 12 April 2012

In the garden today...

In the garden this week we mostly have... immature veg plants. Like these Broad Beans:

I sowed two types of Broad Bean. One (Witkiem Manita) is doing really well. I had 100% germination rate for these.

I always sow a couple of extra seeds at the end of each row, to replace any casualties, or non-germinations. Later on I remove them if they are not required.

The other type of Broad Bean I sowed was Imperial Green Longpod, which has been much slower to germinate, and there are one or two gaps in the row. Actually, when I sowed the seed I thought it didn't look very fresh. The seeds were very small and very shrivelled, and one even had weevil-holes in it, so I can't say I'm surprised at the result. Anyway, I have enough of them to make a decent row so I'm not complaining too bitterly!

Next-door to the Broad Beans are the peas. I sowed a small quantity of 3 types - Premium, Boogie and Purple-podded Desiree. They have all germinated well (much better than normal, I would say, probably due to the drier, warmer weather we had in March), but the Desiree is evidently the most vigorous of the three.

They are already beginning to reach out little tendrils towards the chicken-wire support I have provided.  Last year I had some problems with mildew on my peas, so I am hoping to do better this year, at least with Boogie which is allegedly highly resistant to disease.

The Shallots and Garlic, under their protective netting are racing ahead. No problems there just now.

Shallots and Garlic

In another of the raised beds the parsnips and beetroot are growing away nicely. Still very small of course, but that's to be expected. Look how dry the soil is! (Yes, after photographing them I did water them.)

Parsnip - Panache F1

The Beetroot seedlings are just beginning to develop their first proper leaves:

Beetroot - Boltardy

The Asparagus is putting up a few more spears now, though nowhere near enough. (Can you ever get enough Asparagus??). It really needs some prolonged heavy rain to give it a boost.

There are four spears in this photo...

Elsewhere some chicories are beginning to re-sprout. If when you harvest chicory in the Autumn / Winter you leave the roots in the soil new leaves will grow again in the Spring, providing a small but nonetheless welcome harvest of delicate leaves to brighten-up your salads.

I sowed my other beans over the Easter weekend too. I have lots of Runners (Scarlet Empire and Red Rum), some yellow Dwarf French beans called Polka, some Cherokee Trail of Tears for my forthcoming 3-Sisters bed, and some Michelse Tros (called the Mushy Pea bean). The latter grow like climbing beans but produce beans that go mushy when cooked, like Marrowfat peas. Should be "interesting"! Where am I going to put them all? Don't ask...


  1. I hope all my favas come in. I don't have replacements for them and I didn't plant them close together. They are just starting to come up now. Hmm I should be out planting my beets already. I haven't done that yet.

  2. You are well ahead of us in the sowing of seeds outdoors. Our Wikiem really need to be outdoors now!

  3. Hi Mark,

    Really impressed how your plants are growing on outside. I haven’t dared plant any outside yet but the broad beans and the first of the borlotti are doing well in the unheated greenhouse-so far...

    Hope the mildew stays at bay!

  4. Hi Mark, I've been afraid to sow beans indoors due to tales of them not hardening off well. Any advice. I like your use of the chicken wire for the peas. I need to put that in. I'm very keen to try asparagus next year. I've heard the area I'll be moving too is perfect for asparagus growing. Cheers, Jenni

    1. Jenni; I always sow my Runner Beans in pots indoors (because I am impatient to get started!) and I have never had any problems with hardening-off. I usually put beans in the bed which has hosted my PSB which is still cropping at the time when I would want to sow beans, so the indoor method is the only real option.

  5. The asparagus is beautiful, I didn't know they are so purple in the beginning. I also love the colors of the beets too.

  6. My broad beans are still languishing in the greenhouse, I really need to get them out now.

  7. So far so good!, We need rain rather badly here as well. Hopefully this weekend....

  8. You are way ahead of me withyour plantings - I haven't even though about the runner beans yet - maybe this weekend. The outdoor sowed seeds aren't showing any signs either - may have to re-sow.

  9. Hello...any tips on broad beans are appreciated...its my first year from them...I am growing in a bag made for beans (with cane pole holes....) I have them uncovered...thanks!

  10. Motormouth: You don't really need canes for growing Broad Beans. They usually only grow to a height of about 5 feet. I support mine between two lines of soft string held up by posts. The bag with cane-holes might be better used for Runner beans, which grow much taller.


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