There’s Bean Progress

Yes, given a couple of fine days over the Easter Hols lots of progress in the garden. Also, seedlings have been coming on in the greenhouse. Including planting beans of several types – hence the title.

So, where to start… Well I guess most important, I’ve started digging (well actually forking and removing weeds) the last undug section of the garden (section B)  Over Monday and Tuesday (13/14 April)  I have managed to dig most of it – at the same time helping out our local blackbird who was desperately looking for food to feed what I suspect is a nest full of hungry chicks – I was chucking worms in his direction whenever he appeared and he seemed quite happy with the arrangement, even coming within a few feet of me to check up. Fortunately that section of the garden hasn’t grown too many weeds, though I did harvest some leeks from last year initially – not blanched but cooked that day and very nice.

As well as the digging, I had a seed planting frenzy. A half-row of mangetout peas (Oregon Sugar Pod – they grew well last year), and the other half row (in the section with the broad beans – parallel to the second row) of ‘full’ peas (Kelvedon Wonder). I finally planted some salad seeds outside as well,  short rows of rocket, ‘lambs lettuce’ and mustard (Oriental Red), the last two from a packet of mixed salad seeds. In section A I sowed short rows of carrots (Early Nantes) and pak choi, close to the greenhouse. Further away, a half row of spinach (Toscane) and spinach beet (Perpetual). I also limed a section close to the spinach in anticipation of the broccoli. In the picture below you can just see where the spinach has been panted, just above the slabs (new innovation this year). The markers at the top of the picture show where the short rows of carrot and pak-choi are planted

Section A - some seeds planted

Section A - some seeds planted

In the greenhouse, things are coming on. Some more of the broad beans are outside waiting to be planted out (three are already in) and more should be ready soon. Some of the supplementary plantings are through now so altogether there should be a full row. I planted some dwarf beans (Speedy), climbing french beans (Blue Lake, they did well last year), runner beans (Scarlet Emperoro) and a small tray of kale (Redbar).

The tray of broccoli seedlinga are coming on well, as are the lettuce. There are now about ten tomato seedlings coming up which may well be enough. Worryingly though no sign of the peppers yet…..

Meanwhile the blueberry bushes in containers are well into sprouting leaves. Most of the currants (9) I acquired a few weeks ago are now sprouting happily, but one of them has failed to produce anything yet so looks like a failure. One or two others have only a few buds in leaf, but I guess they will survive. The gooseberry bushes planted last year now have flower buds. The apple is just about in flower, the buds are just opening and the pears are in full flower. The  ‘wild’ damsons at the bottom of the garden are flowering like mad so we may be in for a good year (it only seems to happen every few years) but they may not produce much – we’ll see. 

Blueberry Bushes in leaf

Blueberry Bushes in leaf

On the wildlife front as mentioned, the blackbirds have been very active looking for food. None of our bird boxes seem to be inhabited though, there are too many good natural nesting spots for the tits I think.  Something (a fox I suspect) dug a hole into the area where the runner beans are going to go – maybe something from the compost below attracted them?

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