Tag Archives: broad beans

Lots of planting and growing

In the interim since the last post things have moved on a lot as you might imagine. Several times I’ve intended to post, and even taken photos but finding time to actually write the post has proved difficult.

Anyhow, here is a more or less up-to-date review.

Almost everything grown form seed or purchased as seedlings is now planted out. The only exception now really are the courgettes and they should be in during the next few days.

So, how are things situated?

Well, starting at the furthest end of the cultivated part of the garden – the garlic in bed 5 is now at the point where the ‘autumn’ garlic (remember it was transplanted from last year’s bed) is now almost ready for harvesting. The spring planted variety has a bit longer before it will be ready.

Next to that bed are containers in which carrots are supposed to be growing, but I’ve only just got round to sowing seed in one of them so nothing is up yet.

Next in bed 4 are the potatoes, ‘Mayan Gold’, all the plants are up and earthed up as far as they can be.

Bed 6 near the greenhouse, has the ‘excess’ tomato and pepper plants in it. In particular three tomato plants ‘Alicante’ (x2) & ‘San Marzano’. Plus five pepper plants, some bought as seedlings (when I was paranoid about any of my seed germinating), and some from seed. The varieties are ‘Bendigo’ x2, ‘Capino’ x2, plus my seed grown ones planted since the photo was taken. The remaining space I’ve yet to fill.

The ‘extra’ pepper plants & tomatoes

Alongside the greenhouse there are the usual grow-bags with tomatoes (see below) and from right to left the tomato varieties are:

Sparta, Alicante, San Marzano in the LH bag and then Gardeners Delight, Cherry Cascade x2 in the RH one

Tomatoes outside the greenhouse

Next to bed 4 is the area with the blackcurrant bushes, the new ones planted at the end of last year are all sprouting bar one, which so far hasn’t produced a shoot – so it’s looking like I’ll need a replacement. There will be no blackcurrants from theses bushes this year of course.

Next, bed 3 has the broad bean plants, now very much all in flower or with small bean pods already.

The broad bean plants in bed 3

Bed 2, the next in line has only just been aroused from its winter sleep, covered with an old blind. It is destined to hold courgette and squash plants, and I’ve forked it over to incorporate some bonemeal and chicken dropping pellets ready for planting. The courgettes are just about ready and the squash plants should be ready by the end of this week.

Bed 1 is for beans and the picture below is a few days old and shows the dwarf/french beans, mostly ‘Tendergreen’, some bought as seedlings and some I’ve grown, plus a few ‘Safari’ which are also home grown. Since the photo was taken I’ve planted four climbing beans and another four are ready to go in.

Dwarf/french beans, mostly ‘Tendergreeen’

Moving across to the other side, bed 9 has the brassicas. There are cabbage (far end), cauliflower (near end) and broccoli in the middle. However, the cauliflower and broccoli have been heavily attacked by pigeons. I had them covered with chicken wire at first but took that off when I thought the plants were big enough, only to find all of them, except the cabbage plants, with leaves that were almost shredded in the last few days, so I’ve put the wire back over again!

The brassicas – before the attack of the pigeons!

Next, bed 8 is the one that acts as a kind of cold frame with the old door covering it. At the moment only one cucumber plant is planted and the rest is taken up with various seedlings in trays and pots. A courgette (Atena) is ready to go in though.

Bed 7 nearest the greenhouse has salad crops in it, and I need to sow more seeds really. At present there is only some lettuce plants (bought as seedlings) and some radishes I sowed and now ready to harvest.

Bed 7, radish plants nearest and lettuce at the far end

The mangetout are in bed 10 across from bed 7 and are varieties I haven’t grown before. Both of them seem to grow much higher than the varieties like ‘Oregon sugar snap’ that I’ve been grown before. They have at least now started to flower so I guess they won’t get much higher now. It’s now about the time I should be planting some more, which I’ll start in pots like all those in the bed.

Mangetout peas  – much taller than I expected!

Next to that bed is the bed with strawberry plants in and there are lots of berries waiting for some sun to help ripen them.

Strawberry berries – nice when ripe…

Lastly, outside the kitchen is the pot with more tomatoes in it – there are tow Red Cherry and two Cherry Cascade plants, so hopefully later on they will provide us with lots of small tomatoes during the summer.

The ‘kitchen’ tomato plants

The other major development is that I’ve extended the ‘open compost’ heap which is handy as I’m pulling up lots of weeds at the moment and all my compost bins are just about full – I’ll add a photo when I update.


The birds have been busy, partly I guess because they are feeding chicks. Lots of mealworms being eaten as well as seeds. There have been a bunch of house sparrows which is good news, plus the usual blackbirds, great and blue tits, dunnocks, and the odd greenfinch. The more worrying activity I’ve noted is that magpies have been visiting the feeders and scaring off the small birds, plus I’ve seen a jackdaw as well.

Meanwhile the trail cams have shown that hedgehogs are active along the ‘highway’ at the bottom of the garden but a camera at the front has picked one up crossing the front garden as well! I suspect it is also moving along the side of the house from our garden and I have a camera now watching that route to check.

The trail camera has also picked up a fox crossing along the ‘highway’ as well.


Enough Tomatoes Now!

A follow up to my earlier post plus some progress in the greenhouse.

Two tomato plants are now in a growing bag (pic below). One is an F1 ‘Supersteak’, a beefsteak style tomato bought as a small plant. The other is a ‘red cherry’, grown from seed (new this year).

Beefsteak style on the left, cherry on the right

As usual of course after an initial panic that not enough seeds were germinating and then buying a couple of plants in, I’ve now probably got too many! So probably the surplus may go in the bed alongside to the greenhouse where i’m also going to plant one or two pepper plants.

A collection of tomato seedlings

The seedlings above are a mixture, there are some ‘alicante’, ‘san marzano’ and a couple of types of cherry tomatoes. Since the picture was taken I’ve repotted a couple of ‘gardeners delight’ which had been started off on the kitchen window-ledge. I’d love to get some of the cherry varieties outside in the container by the kitchen but a frost is possible this weekend so I’m putting it off. They are getting rather big now though!

Back to my post before last where I described what I’d been doing and the varieties of veg I’ve been planting or waiting to be planted out.

The brassicas are cauliflower ‘serac’, cabbage ‘spring ducay’ and I bought some broccoli seedlings, ‘tenderstem’, the other day which I’ll plant in the same bed.

More mangetout seedlings are now in the bed with the others, they were ‘shiraz’, and I have some pots of ‘bajka’ and ‘shiraz’ just coming through.

I did buy a ‘pepper selection’ when it looked like virtually none of my seeds had germinated (and of course as soon as I’d done that some of mine came through). They bought in plants were a mix of ‘capino’, ‘bendigo’ & ‘parade’. Of these I’ve put a ‘parade’ into a large pot and it will stay in the greenhouse.

My own sees have produced three ‘como di torro rosso’ seedlings (it’s a variety that produces long rather than round peppers plus two ‘robertina’ which are a standard red pepper type.

Some of the broad beans are producing flower buds now, particularly the ‘aquadulce’ & ‘meteor’ varieties.

Broad beans – almost flowering now

Meanwhile the ‘flower’ section of the garden is now in a state to have the first border annuals put in after carrying out a major de-weeding and compost spreading exercise. Still one stretch of border to do and there are a load of annuals sitting in their trays (from garden centres) waiting to be planted.

As I said but now with Pictures

Finally got some of the photos ready, although they are now a couple of weeks old.

So what’s been happening then? Well plenty really. Firstly I was seduced by the plants available at our local DIY centre over a week ago and bought some brassicas – a few cabbage seedlings and a few cauliflowers which almost filled a bed.

Cauliflower nearest and cabbages far end. The mesh is to keep the pigeons off

I also bought a couple of tomato plants of varieties I either or don’t have or have failed to germinate so far. Plus a collection of sweet pepper plants as my own seeds weren’t germinating at the time. Since then of course several have come through!

More of my tomatoes have germinated as well. So I bought some grow-bags the other day and at least one tomato will have to go in inside the greenhouse in the next couple of days as it’s getting rather big. Some of the peppers will have to be re-potted into big pots as well, although when the weather is warm enough some can go out into one of the beds since last year that approach worked quite well. (although some were in a grow-bag, it was outside).

All the mangetout seedlings are in now, and I have a few new ones coming through in pots, plus a set of four in a pot which are ready to plant out.

Mangetout seedlings – the CDs are to put the pigeons off!

The broad beans are flourishing, apart from two plants (both ‘De Monica’) so I think I’ll sow a couple more beans as replacements.

The borad bean bed

The ‘Maya Gold’ potatoes are in but no sign of shoots yet as it has basically been dry since I planted them until yesterday in fact when we had showers and a thunderstorm.

I did plant some radishes and a short row of ‘salad leaves’ some weeks ago and the radish have germinated and are doing well, but very few of the salad seeds seem to have germinated.

Radishes. The ‘salad leaves’ are supposed to be a row above -but not much sign

We have had our first harvest though – rhubarb. It was forced under an old water butt and the harvest shown went into a rhubarb pie I made.

Rhubarb harvest

Meanwhile for various reasons, mostly to do with unexpected germination and ordering online just in case, I have many cosmos seedlings, but I’m sure they will all come in handy. I’ve also bought plenty of petunias, geraniums and impatiens so I’ve had to get on with preparing the borders ready – lots of weeding and spreading of compost.

Some of the many Cosmos seedlings

I’ll add varieties later – so revisit this page if you want to know…..


It’s all been a bit weird, we’ve had hot periods then cold then hot again and now it’s showers and wind. It’s meant for instance that it’s been really hot in the greenhouse, then a weeks of nights where I had to put a heater on in the  greenhouse followed by a really hot week again and now back to ‘normal’ temperatures. All a bit tricky, I didn’t know whether to put plants outside of the greenhouse or not and found myself taking them out and then putting them back again.

Coupled with the warm periods we had no rain, particularly over the last couple of weeks until yesterday so the rain was welcome.



Broad Beans – Planted!

Well some of the broad beans are planted, five of the ‘De Monica’ and three of the ‘Meteor’ were big enough for me to plant today.

Broad beans now planted out. ‘De Monica’ at the back and the front three are ‘Meteor’

Some more will be ready in the next few days as well.

Coming through now in the greenhouse are some of the mangetout pea plants:

Mangetout pea seedlings in the greenhouse

In the kitchen there are now eight tomato seedlings from the ‘cherry’ varieties and they will need to be potted on pretty soon:

Cherry type tomato seedlings

Some of the flower seedlings in the greenhouse needed potting on – theses are ‘cosmos’ (a white variety):

Cosmos seedlings

Did a bit more clearing up as well today and added mulch around the buddleia bushes. The raised bed for the peas this year needs a bit of repair and I got that started as well so the bed is ok before I start planting out the pea seedlings.

Broad Beans and More

A sunny day today (12DegC) tempted me into the garden for a spell and in the greenhouse most of the broad beans had come through, only the last few I planted yet to appear. The first batches are well enough established to put in the shelter of the ‘cold frame’ (propped up door) and will hopefully be ready to plant in a few days.

The first two trays sown of broad beans – ‘De Monica’ in the lower one and ‘Aquadulce’ in the other

In the picture above, the lower tray (‘De Monica’) is the one now outside acclimatising.

Two new varieties of broad bean (to me) – ‘Meteor’ and ‘Optica’ (nearer set)

Also, encouragingly one of the first set of mangetout peas is coming through so that’s a start. I’ve added some more peas to a couple of pots today as well – this time another variety I haven’t tried before call ‘Bajka’ – should be interesting to see what they are like. The picture on the pack makes them look good, but don’t they all?

In the kitchen the cherry tomato seedlings are doing well, and I’ve planted some more seeds plus some more peppers. No sign of the first lot of peppers yet.

The two original trays of ‘Cosmos’ are still very patchy, but other seeds are starting to come through in other trays (Phlox, Lobelia and more Cosmos) – I haven’t tried Phlox or Lobelia from seed before so they are a bit of an experiment.

It was so sunny today that I saw my first butterfly (a ‘comma’) – see pic below, and a ‘bee-fly’ – very much a fly I only see in spring usually hawking over the lawn.

Comma butterfly

Bee fly (bombylius major)

More worrying, the first grey squirrel for some time appeared on the lawn the other day….

Seeds Update – Feb 15

Things look encouraging with the broad beans with seedlings appearing for all the trays except the most recent planting which I mad just yesterday (‘De Monica’, in a matrix of  6, 3 beans each ‘pot’). So if all come through I should have enough to fill the assigned bed.

Some more of the cosmos seeds in trays in the greenhouse (and in heated propagators) have come through but still quite patchy really.

Surprisingly some of the tomatoes are through on the kitchen windowsill so now I have 2 ‘cherry cascade’ seedlings and 4 ‘red cherry’ seedlings.

Outside the greenhouse and kitchen I finally got round to clearing the last raised bed left with left over bits and weeds – the one which had salad crops in last year (No 1, destined for climbing & French beans this year)). There was enough space in the bed to add the compost contents of a ‘growbag’ plus a good scattering of pelleted chicken droppings as a general fertiliser.

I’m going to have to sit down and sow more seed soon, and do a general tidy of the greenhouse as well, I need the room on the benches! Also I have 3 windows to replace as the are either cracked or broken and in one case missing. The weather needs to improve though, there have been strong winds all this week, not great for dealing with greenhouse windows.

Planting Frenzy

Well almost a frenzy anyway…. (updated)

But having bought loads of seeds the other day, including of course, several packs that weren’t on my list, and having others arrive by post I felt I really ought to get on with things a bit. They were mostly flowers, but some veg also.

So a couple of days ago I planted a half-tray of Gaillardia (Lollipop Red), now in the kitchen in a plastic bag plus some tomatoes in pots, two varieties ”Cherry Cascade’, a sort of bush type, and ‘Red Cherry’, which as the name suggests is another cherry type.

Also, today, a half-tray of Phlox (A white type) and a hlf tray split between Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’, and Lobellia ‘Crystal Palace’ – blue type). Then in a square pot, four sweet peppers ‘Robertina’.

Meanshile the Cosmos planted a while ago in half-trays and left one of the propogators have produced some seedlins, though rather scattered and sparse so far.

One encouraging development is that one of the matrix sowings of broad beans has produced shoots (didn’t check which variety) and the seperate pots look encouraging.

I had a pruning session diuring the week and cut back the ivy and small branches on the old pear tree in the centre of the vegetable area so now any birds should be able to nest without interference (robins and tits have nested in the tree in previous years).

Finally, today I added some pelleted chicken manure to the bed which will house salad crops, and I’ll have to start planting soon.

Some pics to illustrate:

The broad beans coming through

The later batch of broad beans just starting to appear

The cosmos seedlings – a bit hit and miss


The current state of the garlic bed