Posted by: sweetpea | May 12, 2006

Runner beans

I love the glorious weather we’re having at the mo’.  Despite being stuck indoors all day, at least it means I can spend a relaxing hour or so down at the lottie on the way home.  Last night my mission was to plant runner beans, climbing French beans, peas, and construct the climbing frames for them at the same time.  As is always the case, I was slightly over ambitious!

First on the list was runner beans, after having a quick read to see what distance apart the rows needed to be I marked out the 2 rows.  I then dug a trench along one of the rows, laid some newspaper along the bottom, then some grass clippings and then filled it in again.  The idea of the trench being that it will hopefully help retain moisture and provide nutrients for the bean plants.  Being as I don’t know whether digging the trench is a waste of time I thought I’d only dig 1 trench then I can do a comparison between the productivity of the 2 rows.

The next job was constructing a climbing frame out of bamboo canes and string.  I usually do a wigwam for my beans, but this year I decided to grow them in rows.  So first I stuck 4 canes one at each end of the rows and 1 cane in the middle of each row.  I tied the tops together leaving enough length at the top to support a horizontal cane for support.  Next I attached horizontal canes at the bottom and half way up the structure to provide more support. Once this was done I set about using string to create a network of lines for the beans to grow up.

The frame in place, I started to sow the beans. I’d read somewhere about using cat hair with peas to deter mice from eating the seeds, and being as I have mice I decided it might be worth giving it a go.  So this is experiment number 2, I planted the beans every other with some cat hair (supplied by Rosie, Kim’s cat).  I plan to do this with the peas too, hopefully it works because last year hardly any of my peas germinated and I suspect now it was because they were eaten, being as all the peas I have sown in toilet roles have germinated this year!

By the time I finished sowing the beans it was starting to get a bit late, so I didn’t quite get as far as the French beans and peas!  Just as I was packing stuff away it started to tip it down so I guess I wouldn’t have managed much more anyway.

Ooo, and my melon seeds have started to germinate, so I’m really excited about that 🙂

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