Saturday, April 22, 2017

Peas and beans, April 2017

Photo of a small row of broad bean plants in flower, with chickweed in between
Dwarf broad beans interplanted with chickweed
In this year's Peas/Beans bed, I already have broad beans and peas up and growing.  I actually sowed the broad beans last autumn, and they've been hanging on ever since;  in the photo above, they're flowering now.  I also sowed a second batch this spring to fill in gaps in the row--these younger plants look a bit healthier leaf-wise, but aren't near flowering yet.

Last year I had maybe four or five broad bean plants survive, which I heroically saved for seed (I got about 10 seeds...sigh).  The rest are from new bought seed;  I think the spring sowing was from my own saved seed actually.  Let's hope it performs better this year.
Photo of young pea plants growing up supports made from buddleia trimmings stuck in the ground
Mange tout, with pea sticks
The rest of the bed is growing peas now, of three separate varieties;  I kind of had to plant them next to each other because of space constraints, so I hope I can keep them growing up their own supports and not all jumbled up!  I've got a batch of mange tout (I think we call them snow peas where I come from) really growing quickly, and two batches each of early and maincrop peas.  I hope to dry the maincrop peas for winter use, and keep the early peas for eating fresh.

Because I have both the peas and broad beans starting off so early, I hope to be able to grow a catch crop of French beans and/or runner beans in their places once they finish in early summer, and then in early autumn, I will be transplanting winter brassicas after the French/runner beans are finished.  I hope my timing is right, as I really don't have any space left in this bed for any more plants--I even had to sow the second batch of maincrop peas in the perennials section (it's just sprouting up now).

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