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Broad Beans, More Strawberries

It’s turning out to be a very slow starting year. Considering we’re at the end of May and summer isn’t far away, the weather is more like March. The grass is growing strongly now, but it’s difficult to find it dry enough to mow. Wet grass just jams up the mower and when it’s long, it’s even harder to cut.

Looking at the 5 day weather forecast, not one is without some rain. Still, I’ve got a feeling that June might rescue the situation though. Always the optimist!

I’ve still got ten leylandii to get in on the windbreak, they’re threatening to jump out of their pots. I just need a clear day to get them in but they should be OK for yet another week when the better weather is supposed to arrive. The good news is the willow cuttings. They’re looking very healthy and all bar two are putting leaf on, which indicates roots are developing.

The windbreaks will take time to establish, but once they have they’ll not just provide shelter for growing some vegetables. They’ll increase bio-diversity and they’ll capture carbon.

Broad Beans

Last year I sowed some broad beans but that was the last I saw of them. Perhaps mice, perhaps they rotted or drown or maybe the bean fairy had them. I don’t know but I never have much luck with autumn sowed beans. Anyway on 6th May I admitted defeat and sowed some in 3” pots which were kept in the potting shed.

I’ve pot sown broad beans before and usually they take 3 weeks with the pots outside. In the potting shed they were more than ready, the roots cramping in the pot. Two weeks to planting would have been better.

Before they went in to the beds I added some fish, blood & bone fertiliser, calcified seaweed and a lot of wood ashes to the beds. Spreading lightweight, fine wood ashes in the wind is not recommended. I think I’ve fertilised a few neighbouring beds as well as myself. The potash in the wood ashes will help the beans resist chocolate spot.

More Strawberries

Val pointed out that we have quite a lot of room on our patio and at the rate I eat her strawberry jam, perhaps more plants? Well after spluttering that we’d given away some jars and that it wasn’t all me, I went for a stacking container off Ebay that has 6 tiers of 3 pots, giving 18 plants.

I’ve gone for Cambridge Favourite in this planter. I don’t think I’ll get anything off them this year but you’ve got to think ahead with growing.

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary

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