Tag Archives: broad beans

End of Season review: the disasters…

My previous end of season post here talked about the successes – but of course there were the disasters too.

No pictures to show my lack of beetroot this year – I tried several times, firstly sowing straight into the raised bed (where later the butternut squash and cucumber plants were rampant, so it wasn’t the soil!). When that didn’t work, twice, I tried growing the seedlings in little pots first – that worked up to the point when I put them in the bed. I suspect creatures of eating them, but not sure whether it was slugs or mice.

So, beetroot was firmly off the menu.

Another sad and sorry attempt at a crop were the courgettes. The plants seemed to thrive but I didn’t manage to harvest a single courgette, they started well then shrivelled and died.

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And then there were the strawberries – all leaf and no berry sadly. Same for the blueberries, but in both cases, I suspect avian theft…

Carrots weren’t a total disaster, I did get one crop albeit a bit misshapen, nothing worthy of the show bench 😉 But there were a couple of sowings that just didn’t come up at all, so my plan to have a regular crop of carrots throughout the season didn’t work and I certainly can’t count them in the successes.

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Broad beans were another partial success – they flourished for a while and we had a good
harvest until the dreaded rust hit, which was a shame.

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And finally for the disaster story – peas. Put several plants in one of the raised beds but none of them thrived there. I had better luck with a single seedling in a plant pot which I left in the greenhouse but we didn’t really get enough for a good helping of fresh peas from the garden – delicious though.

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But in spite of all the failures and not quite successes, I did have plenty of successful crops to redress the balance and have high hopes for next year with half an allotment to fill up as well as the raised beds at the bottom of the garden. Not quite the Good Life yet, but we’re getting there…

Rust & Ruin…

My first time growing broad beans, I sowed them last October, kept them alive all through the winter, then planted them out in Spring into one of our raised beds. It was all going so well until the rust came… It hasn’t been a complete disaster as we’ve had plenty of delicious beans over the last few weeks but the plants are not looking healthy at all now:

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All the plants are going to have to come up and can’t go in the compost bin which is a shame. The peas which have not thrived at all can come up too. I’m more disappointed in the peas than the beans – we’ve had a decent harvest of beans but not much more than a handful of pea-pods so I’ll have to try again next year. I can’t believe I’m planning next year’s crops already!

Next blog post will be a more cheerful one, I’ll do an update on the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers which are all doing well… (touch wood!)

Breaking News…

Early stages but there are encouraging early signs of a bumper harvest at Broad Bean corner…

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There have also been some sightings of unexpected strawberries in the forgotten about and completely neglected basket left over from last year:

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Finally for now, a bit disappointed in this garlic from last Autumn as it isn’t quite as big as I thought it should be – hopefully it will taste ok though, it is tied up and drying out before heading for the kitchen.

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Beans are blooming

Very excited to see that my broad beans are flowering. I sowed these last October, managed to keep them alive in the cold frame over the winter, then planted them out in one of the raised beds towards the end of March. 

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At the same time, I sowed some more broad beans in between the rows so we should get beans ready at intervals later in the summer – they haven’t all made an appearance yet but this one is looking pretty healthy so far:

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Hard at work..

What a gorgeous day today, sunshine and warmth at last. All my seedlings went outside in the sunshine for a few hours and I’m hoping for great progress from them now! I have been trying to get organised enough to plant out the broad beans I’ve had growing in the cold frame over the winter and finally, today was the day!

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I’ve also planted some more broad beans in the row opposite so hopefully a staggered harvest will be ours later in the year. We need to put up some more canes and string – tomorrow’s job as I got sidetracked doing other things today. I’d also sown some cauliflowers last October and they have been sitting in the cold frame but not really looking too good – so let’s see how they get on in the raised beds. I’ve got them under the netting so hopefully they won’t get munched (see last year’s ‘Massacre of the Brassicas’!)

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I’m not very confident that they will do very well, but might as well give them a try, I’ve (just about) kept them alive since last year after all…

Other jobs today included putting some more erinaceous compost round the rhododendron in a big pot in the front garden as it was looking in need of some tlc, lots of weeding and I’ve sown some more stocks and leeks as well as another couple of cucumber seeds. 

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Hope it is sunny again tomorrow, lots more to do – need to get some salads going and try and rescue the surviving geranium and fuchsia plants that I’ve kept indoors over the winter.

Growing pains

Not quite sure that everything is thriving quite as it should but I might just be my usual
impatient self. I put everything outside when we had some sunshine on Friday but it was
chillier than it looked. All back inside again in the warm but now I’m wondering if my little
seedlings are warm/cool/dry/watered enough. 

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I’m hoping that operation ‘new greenhouse’ will make some more progress next week, the ground needs levelling first as it slopes a bit which won’t work.  Still no sign of life from the leeks out in the cold frame and the mesembryanthemum seedlings have remained too weedy and tiny to transplant so I might have another attempt at sowing some more tomorrow. 

I’d also like to get my overwintered broad beans in the raised bed but I’m a warm weather
gardener 😉 Maybe tomorrow…