Posts Tagged ‘French beans’

Is there a giant at the top?

My beans are growing so fast I’m wondering if they are magic beans and there is going to be a giant at the top shouting ” Fee, fi, fo, fum!”  Here they are as of this morning, 12 days after I sowed the seeds…….

I bought some bamboo canes at the weekend, I think it might soon be time to construct some wigwams.  Although saying that, there was a ground frost this morning so these are staying inside for now.

The tomatoes are slower growers but coming along with a germination rate of almost 100% (the beans have been 50%).

Outside, the broad beans are just starting to flower

and the cabbages, onions & garlic are ticking over. (The camellia flowers are dropping in from next door!)

The rhubarb crown I planted in the autumn has two large stalks now and plenty of new growth.  Would I be able to eat the two larger stalks or just leave the whole thing be until next year?

(click photos to enlarge)

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I’ve gone too early!

The warm weather went to my head and I think I’ve gone to early on the seed planting.

This was yesterday’s photo…….

And this is the same tray 24 hours later!!

They are like flipping triffids!!!  The bean roots have already escaped the bottom of the modules.  There is going to have to be some pretty swift transplanting in the next couple of days into larger pots.  At least I know the seeds are healthy but whether these will be too spindly to survive I don’t know.  Fingers crossed for beginners luck, otherwise I’ll have to do what Flighty said in the comments and sow into the ground in May.

Speedy seeds

Last Thursday was such a lovely day that I just could not resist any longer.  I sowed some seeds!  Over the past year I have collected rather a lot of seeds from freebies on magazines and I have bought a few as well.  Also Flighty from Flighty’s Plot very kindly sent me some borlotti beans, nasturtiums and marigolds.

I wanted to grow several different tomatoes this year so I have sewn 4 varieties – Gardener’s Delight, Tumbling Tom Yellow, San Marzano 3, and Moneymaker.  I do have some others which I’ll see if I have room for later.

For the beans I sowed White Lady (runner), Montano (dwarf French), Cobra (climbing French), and Lingua di Fuoca (borlotti from Flighty).

I sowed them all in a module tray, which may have been a little small for the beans so I might have to transplant quite soon.  I sowed 2 of each tomato seed per module and one bean.  5 modules per variety.

As you can see, in only 5 days most of them have germinated!  They are covered with a lid and left on my kitchen table for the light from the patio doors.

And just for you, Flighty, this is one of your Borlotti beans!!

I also threw a few chives and basil into a couple of pots, the basil is showing but no chives as yet.

AND……..huge news……….something went into my bird box this morning, woohoo!!!

 

A short local walk, first turnips & last tomatoes

Chester has a cycle path that runs between Connah’s Quay in Deeside to Mickle Trafford a few miles east of Chester.  It is along the route of an old railway track so is very flat and ideal for strolling along.  I have walked a couple of miles of it from the nearest access point to our house before but had never been to the Mickle Trafford end, so yesterday morning we packed the dog into the car and parked at the far end.  There is no official parking area but the owner of a nearby industrial unit allowed us to park on his forecourt as long as we didn’t break an ankle and sue him as a previous person had done!!

We walked for about half an hour along the track to where it goes under the A55, and then the skies were darkening a bit so we headed back.  Along the route were some interesting pieces of art…

This morning I had a mooch about the garden and found that the last of the tomatoes are ripening up finally, possibly because I gave them a good drenching after not watering for a good 10 days.

I picked the ripest and I think I’ll give the rest another week.

In the patio bag I noticed a couple of the turnips pushing back up through the compost I had earthed them up with a couple of weeks ago, so I investigated and pulled out these two

I don’t remember ever having eaten a turnip so this will be a new experience for me.  I’ll probably just roast them in some olive oil this evening.

My onions are coming up quite well now, there are about 20 little green shoots, but no sign of the garlic yet.  The peas are doing ok and the cabbages now have collars.

I picked some of the French bean pods that have been drying in the shed and shelled them.  I’ve got plenty of seed to attempt to grow in the spring now.

Finally I sowed a few more sweet peas in the growhouse, Tall Mixed this time, and that’s about it.

No liposuction required………

……….but I have a lovely new butt!!

This one is to go on the patio.  We have a drainpipe that collects all the water from the new extension roofs and existing rear house roof so it shouldn’t take too long to fill once it is connected.  It is a narrow “space saver” water butt, 100 litre capacity.  I ordered it from greenfingers.com in their clearance sale for £19.99 plus a stand for £7.99.  I have got a connector kit separately from this seller on ebay, so that’s a job for the weekend when we find a suitable tool for making the hole for the connecting water pipe to fit.

You get free delivery if you order over £29, so because I was a little short I ordered this (rather substantial when it arrived) dibber and a pair of very fetching knee pads!!

On Sunday morning I planted out my 7 cabbage seedlings and covered them with fleece until the cabbage collars arrive.  And I think that is now it for the sowing and planting until the spring.  I currently have onions, garlic, cabbage, peas and broad beans in the veg bed, turnips in the patio bag and the last of the tomatoes desperately fighting to ripen on the patio.  It is quite sunny (but cold) today so fingers crossed for a few more before I have to bring them in.  I cut down and hung my French beans in the shed to dry for seeds.  But I have no idea what the original plants were, (which I bought as small plants unlabelled at the local hardware store,) let alone if they are F1s so I will have to get some other seeds as well, I was thinking of Blue Lake as they look the most like the ones I had this year.

I did have a slightly amusing tomato, a siamese twin…..

I am currently reading a book called Allotted Time, an amusing account of two guys who decided on a slightly tipsy night out to get an allotment when neither of them had ever gardened before.  I’m about two thirds through so will review it when I’m done.  And I have been adventurous in my cooking with two recipes from River Cottage Veg Every Day last week and another planned for tonight.  The River Cottage TV series to accompany the book just started on Channel 4 on Sunday evening and I am very pleased to say it doesn’t clash with the Strictly results show!!

THE amazing secret to growing French Beans!!

This is it!! The only piece of advice you need!!  Ready??

Go away for 6 days and leave the watering in the capable hands of your neighbour who has never grown veg, and you will come home to find that the three French Bean plants you have growing in a pot on the patio have produced this number of beans!!!

Go away for 6 days and look what happens!

So there you go.  Guess what’s for dinner tonight!

Today’s humble harvest

A few little things I picked today……..

I am totally converted to this “grow your own” thing, because of the taste.  Everything I have grown and eaten so far has been delicious.  The strawberries are sweet, the tomatoes are gorgeous and I don;t usually like eating raw tomatoes, and the one bean each we had the other day was lovely too.  Here are some of the spuds cooked ………

They went a bit fluffy when boiled but again the flavour was so much better than shop bought.