Monday, 26 January 2009

Broad Beans (scary)

I'll come clean. Broad beans frighten me. Needed to share that with the group.

'Not really very fond of them'. I've been telling other plot holders cheerily. Deep down I knew the truth.

Started sowing them in Autumn 2006 - the first year I had my plot. Fired up by the likes of Jamie Oliver - I don't know what you think but I feel his kitchen gardening books give the impression that if you 'kinda' throw them in the soil, (casually like) you'll turn round in a few weeks and end up with a lovely entree to share with your mates.

It didn't work. First time round, the mice ate them. Tried sowing at home in my little greenhouses. Put them in empty loo rolls (fairly traded and non-chlorine bleached of course). This didn't do the business either. Found out later if your soil is really heavy (like mine was before I lightened it up with fifty bags of rabbit manure - yes, there's another story...) then an Autumn sowing can be difficult.

Not to be put off I tried again the following Spring. Loo rolls were fine, but I left the seedlings in them for too long and planted them out too early. My Cherry Plum wind breaks weren't big enough to shelter them. They got buffeted about too much and finally a sudden late frost finished them off. Talk about embarrassing. Every one says broad beans are so easy.

Third time round (last year) inspired by those posh heritage seed pictures on 'Daughter of the Soil's blog I planted crimson flowered ones.

With the excuse that there was so much 'structural' work still to do on the plot (I mean taking away bagfuls of broken glass, crisp bags...) I hardly looked at the growing plants, never checked them, didn't pinch the tops out at the right time. So when chocolate spot (a fungal disease) and blackfly moved in and clouded my purple lovelies I just sighed and left them to it. I realised too late. I was simply in denial.

So I'll look in the mirror and say: 'TODAY IS A NEW DAY'.
I'm sowing Aqualdulce Claudia.
Every two weeks in succession.
Under glass.
Feel the fear and do it anyway.

1 comment:

Comments here. Thanks.