Welcome to our plot!

I'm Hazel, and in Nov 2006 my friend Jane and I took on a half plot at Hill Allotments, Sutton Coldfield - we want the satisfaction of growing and eating our own fruit and veg, and to improve our diet (and fitness!).

This is the story of what happened next...........

Saturday, December 20, 2008

End of Year Report - Plot D (legumes)

We started off the legume bed at the beginning of the year with overwintering leeks, which were great, despite some allium beetle damage. There weren’t quite enough really, but despite knowing this, I’ve got even fewer growing at the moment (combination of the plants not doing too well, & too few seeds sown!). I let one of the leeks flower for seed too, so no excuses next year!

The beans & peas have been fabulous – after joining the Heritage Seed Library last year, five out of my six choices of seeds were legumes, because they are tasty either fresh, dried or frozen, prolific, they crop for ages, they are pretty, & it’s easy to save the seeds.

Apart from the HSL peas & beans, we also put in some kelvedon wonder peas – which grow much taller than they were supposed to, & I didn’t support properly so they flopped everywhere and drove me mad – some dwarf French beans (barlotti & tendergreen) and runner beans.

Early in the season the broad beans did really well – the crimson flowered variety in particular was lovely – pretty resistant against blackfly, gorgeous flowers & tasty bright green beans. These are a definite for next year!

Overall, the dwarf French beans did really need to be supported in some way as they were so prolific that the plants weren’t quite robust enough to hold themselves up – & the climbing beans make better use of the space.

I do think that having shorter rows of canes ‘tent-stylee’ worked well, but I think that wigwams for next year will make for stronger structures against the weather – particularly autumn gales.

The peas were brilliant – but there weren’t nearly enough of them! I’ve saved seed for next year, though, so we can expand the amount grown.

Now this bed is half sown with brassicas for over winter . I haven’t quite got this right in that the sprouts won’t be ready for Christmas, & all the cauliflowers came ready at once, but the sprouting broccoli has been great, & I’m expecting plenty of red cabbage for the Spring.

All the dried beans are being eaten, saved for sowing next year or swapped for other varieties with other on-line gardeners. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the seed box holds rather more beans than one might expect to fit into the plot, & the new HSL catalogue arrived this week too…

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! I grew the purple podded peas and crimson flowered broad beans this Summer. I just love the HSL selection. Look forward to reading more of your adventures!!


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