Sunday, 21 May 2017

Happy beans

My Runner Beans are in (planted).

As previously advertised, I'm growing 12 "Scarlet Emperor" plants, one per pole. "Scarlet Emperor" is an old-fashioned variety, but one that has stood the test of time and is still very popular amongst allotmenteers and vegetable-gardeners. The pods have a stronger taste than many of the more refined modern varieties too.

I planted these beans last Tuesday, the day before the big rains began. This was deliberate, because I knew that the copious amounts of water would help the beans to settle in. It's not a good idea to plant beans in hot dry weather because it puts them under a lot of stress.

You can easily tell if a bean plant is happy. Look at its shape. If it stands up strongly and looks like a capital T or even a V, then it's happy. If the leaves are droopy and form an M shape, it's less happy!

T-shape =  happy bean!

I'm hoping that my beans will settle-in quickly and grow away strongly, without any damage from the weevil grubs which sometimes attack them. Sometimes I buy nematodes to counter-attack the weevil grubs, but they are very expensive these days and I would rather do without them if I can. I have plenty of spares waiting in the wings, just in case.

In fact (although there is nothing to see just yet) I have also sowed a few more in this pot in the coldframe, as an insurance against any disasters...

Bean seeds are cheap, so I have nothing to lose really.

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