Monday, 2 July 2012

Easy Peasy

It was in April when I bought a Multi pack of pea seeds, they were a bargain at 50p, I had planned to research  what kind of peas to plant and then make my decision based on crop, and taste, but at 50p how could I fail.

The  peas were simply marked Mange-tout, Early Onwards, and Hurst Green Shaft.

 I planted the mange-tout  directly in to the ground on an extremely hot day in April in small blocks, as the instructions assured me that they needed minimal support.

Within about 10 days the mange-tout had germinated.   And that’s it, no cloche, no netting or protecting,  the pigeons just don't seen interested. I have virtually ignored them, only to be rewarded by strong healthy plants and  masses of sweet delicious peas.

I was however mislead about minimal support. I should have put in a much better support system, rather than placing the twigs from a recently pruned tree near the pea shoots, as these proved totally  inadequate.
 It doesn't really seem to matter because, although they look a bit of a tangled mess, the yield is still excellent and they just keep on coming.

I sowed the Early onwards a few weeks later, half the packet then the remaining  after 10 days.  This staggered planting hasn't made much difference as the weather was so appalling they germinated at the same time.  Again the plants have flourished, I supported these well from the beginning and I have a lovely tidy row of peas and the pods are plumping up nicely.

I have not bothered planting the Hurst Green Shaft as I anticipate have plenty of peas and only limited freezer space.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Pastures New.

Mea culpe, Mea culpe.  It has been 8 months since my last blog.  No I haven’t  given up the allotment but during the winter months there seemed very little to do, or write about.

Of course that was when we had a mere 5 rods .
 In January the neighbouring plot became available, a 15 rods complete with  Gooseberry bushes, Redcurrants ,Blackcurrants numerous Raspberries, a Rhubarb patch, an Apple tree, Asparagus and a Buddleia, which we will keep for the butterflies.  We had to take it, we'd be silly not to, but it had been left for quite a while and was very overgrown.  So we set to work immediately, weeding and digging, and although it was too late really we cut back the raspberry canes.  We only had a suspicion of where the Asparagus was so I felt rather like an Archaeologist excavating buried treasure.


When clearing away the canes that had supported last years Runner beans, I found dried up seed pods on the ground nearby, though the husks  looked brown and wizened, inside yielded gleaming white bean seeds. Magic beans !

Well not quite magic, but free food. I planted all of them not really expecting much, but my pods have produced robust plants of what I think are Dwarf French Beans.
Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Seeing these plants thrive is indeed more satisfying than seeing my 'White Lady' Runner beans grow, I think purely because I had to buy them whereas my French Dwarf beans are gleaned from a previous harvest. Maybe it's just the circle of life thing, but I will be definitely be saving seeds now.