Slow painting

Wednesday 4 April 2012

Getting going

At last - some growth.  I have B&Q to thank for the kick-start.  They had healthy looking packs of vegetable seedlings.  I've never grown broad beans, but had a hankering to try.  (and yes, those are unorganic slug pellets.  Has anyone used the wool pellets that swell up when wet and are meant to deter slugs and snails?  I'm looking for alternatives.)

We're still clearing up from the winter, in minimal time.  Could someone please give me an extra day a week?

Below, the 'before' bed where the fork and bucket are.  The mist, by the way, is actual mist rather than camera error.  A good thick 'haar' (sea fog).

The following day, broad beans in place with anti pigeon netting.

Look at the warm Spring light in the shot above.  We planted the beans at the start of the recent warm spell, when temperatures shot up to 21 degrees.  Since then we've been away, and won't get back to the plot until this weekend.  Meantime temperatures have returned to a more normal 3 degrees, complete with gales, snow and hail. 

And just to continue with my green manure fixation, here's the current state of the one patch of grazing rye that came through.  It's getting on for 3 feet high now.  All I need is something to graze it.


The Cranky said...

Corn meal is a good alternative for repelling slugs and snails; it forms a gritty crust when it rains which the nasty little critters hate.

Mark Willis said...

My Broad Beans (from seed!) are about half the size of yours. Do you know what variety the B&Q ones are?
BTW aren't you supposed to dig-in the Grazing Rye before it flowers? Yours will be producing ears before long!

Kelli said...

I hope your broad beans survive the change in weather, they look really healthy plants. This month is going to be tricky, lots of warm sun but also probably lots of frost patches.

Sue Garrett said...

My sister put poodle wool around her pansies - kept them warm and snug and the slugs stayed away. Fortunately it was black wool so didn't look like snow! We were in Scotland during the heat wave last week and had a great time.

Kris said...

I've never grown broadbeans and have never found them on seed racks here. I read about them all the time in UK blogs and they sound delish. I must find seeds somewhere.

Our weather, too, is on a yoyo. I fear many of my perennials are exhausting themselves sending up shoots only to have them freeze/die again and again.

As for slugs when necessary I use iron phosphate pellets. The attract only slugs, then break down into fertilizer. Animals eating the slugs are not harmed.

Hope both our weather evens out soon.

Angela said...

You could try placing pieces of cooper brillo pads around your plants. You could also place crushed mussell or oyster shells around your plants to deter the slugs and snails and to add nutrients to your soil.

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Linda,
I enjoyed seeing your allotment, and your lovely bean plants. I didn't know what that little plant was until I read your post. It was cool reading about the fog/mist, which, I'm not remembering which you said it was. I tried growing flax for a green manure crop across the street, but not many came up. I wonder if I should try again with something else.

Mal's Allotment said...

Haar Haar! You on the Riviera.

Great rye grass. Time to chop it down and dig it in or it will turn into pampas grass!

Kris you might find broad beans described as "fava beans". Like you I pay the extra premium for the "organic approved" slug pellets. It's expensive but there is no alternative. With the first mild winter here for 3 years the slug army is ready to march!

Linda said...

So now I need to shift this blog to the new Blogger thingy so that I can reply to comments individually. Meantime:

Jacqueline, thanks for the tip. Corn meal is on the 'exotic' end of the flour spectrum here, so quite expensive. I'll compare prices and maybe give it a go, however.

Mark, the variety is Dreadnought. That could mean that they'll be horribly tough. Yes, I know the idea is to cut down the rye and dig it in. It's one of the casualties of our uber-busy life just now.

Kelly, since planting the beans there's been sun, snow, hail, gales and frost. Never a dull moment.

Sue, that must be the most unusual slug deterrent I've ever hear of!

Kris, as Mal says, they're also known as fava beans. My reason for growing them is to be able to eat the beans when they're young and tender - the frozen variety you can buy tend to be older and can be bitter. Thanks for the nudge towards organic slug pellets.

Angela, of your suggestions the crushed shells seem best for me. We have such strong winds that I think brillo pads would take off.

Hello Sue, I was thinking of growing flax in my flower garden this year. Perhaps it'll do double duty as a green manure.

Mal, the rye has got even taller over the past week. I'm considering making a design feature of it.

L. D. said...

I see people on garden shows picking and preparing broad beans. I bet they are good to eat. Lots of soups and I think I saw them use them raw or blanched and put on salads.

Gunilla said...

Hi Linda.

Thanks for your visits I really appricate them.

Here it´s raining today so I hope that the snow that is left will melt away.
I haven´t done anyting in the garden yet. Because it´s lots of snow.

Good luck with the beans.

Have a great week

Janet said...

I'm full of admiration for your very successful grazing rye. I've just about given up with green manures until I saw your photo. But I think we've both blogged before about their success or otherwise...

Iain said...

We have repeatedly tried growing beans up here in N. Sweden with zilch success. This year we ain't even going to try. Our strawberry bed is badly overgrown as are our pea and carrot beds. That's what happens when you leave the place empty for a year or so. Always a price to pay, it seems!

Elettra said...

With the care you put it is surely a good harvest!!!!