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Broad Beans Sown

The builders have finally gone although the job’s not quite finished. It was becoming a war of attrition at the end. At least we can get on with life again… after we get the mess cleaned up.

Being a reasonable day I got the broad beans in. I’ve rotavated the bed and cleaned off the weeds so it was just a matter of adding some fertiliser. A light scattering of chicken manure pellets to provide some general nutrition. I know beans are supposed to provide their own nitrogen from symbiotic bacteria in root nodules but in practice they do need some additional nitrogen.

Broad beans are susceptible to a disease called chocolate spot which is related to a shortage of potash so I applied a large dose of wood ash. The amount of potash in wood ashes varies according to the original wood burned so not an exact science. I used about 500gr per square metre which is lot as wood ash is so light. Raked it all in to stop it blowing away.

Next I drew three drills, 20cm wide and 5cm deep (that’s 8” and 2” in real money) using my draw hoe and sowed at 20cm spacing in the drills in staggered rows. Normally broad beans are spaced at 60cm between the double rows but I’ve given them just 40cm as I’m growing The Sutton, a dwarf bean. It should be better given the windy conditions here and more self-supporting for the close spacing.

Despite three separate weather forecasting sites agreeing it would be dry until Sunday, it decided to rain on Friday night and hardly stopped until Wednesday which was a beautiful day. Unfortunately my daughter was moving house on Wednesday so I was tied up playing removal man. Then ditto for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

By Sunday I was trapped in the body of a 90 year old! I did manage to pick up the glass for the greenhouse door and get that re-fixed. Rain again today (Monday) so hopefully out on the patch later in the week.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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