22 November 2016

Broad Beans

I had never grown broad beans before this year, I had tried them once many years ago and didn't like them so I never bothered with them.  
Since becoming a vegetarian earlier this year I found I needed to expand the variety of vegetables I eat so I decided to give them another go and I'm glad 😊 I did. Apart from the fact that they are easy to grow, and the flowers have the most amazing fragrance and the bees love them, they are delicious! What's not to like?

There are several varieties that you can grow, the type I grew this year was Early Long Pod and despite the fact that I didn't sow until July they still did exceptionally well. 

Next year as well as growing the Early Long Pod again I want to grow the Crimson Flowered variety too if for no other reason then the  gorgeous flowers.

Have you grown broad beans before? What was your experience with them?

2 November 2016

October, Where Did You Go?

Well, that was the shortest month ever! I know this year is flying by, but October seemed to be over in the blink of an eye.
It's been a while since I did a garden update and it's time I rectified that. October, and September for that matter have been strange month's weather wise, very wet, cold and windy, but despite the unseasonable weather the plants in the veggie garden have been doing their own thing and apart from the garlic I'm really pleased with the harvests I have been getting.

The asparagus this year were a little less prolific than normal, but nonetheless delicious.

The peas on the other hand went a little crazy due I think to all the rain we've had.
Of the four different types of podding peas I grew this year my favourite was the Telephone peas, the Purple podded were also very nice so these are the two that I will be growing next year.

I trialled growing potatoes in pots this year and while it wasn't an outstanding success it wasn't a complete failure either.
On the plus side, they were the most delicious potatoes I've ever eaten, so creamy and I will be growing them again next winter.
A mix of Kestrel, Red Delight, Dutch Cream and Kipfler.
I grew Broad Beans for the first time this year, they are covered in flowers which the bees love and they have been visiting every afternoon.

 It looks like they have done a good job of pollination as there are a lot of beans developing.

While the plants have been busy growing I've been busy in the greenhouse sowing seeds for spring/summer.
So far I've sown seeds for pumpkins, zucchinis, cucumber, rockmelon and watermelon. The pumpkins and zucchini were planted out in the garden yesterday and the cucumbers have been planted in a large pot down near the house where they will have a bit more protection from the summer sun, the watermelon and rockmelon still having some growing to do before they are planted out.

Seeds for tomatoes (seven different varieties), capsicum (three varieties), and eggplant (two varieties), have been sown, but they haven't all been successful. Only three of the seven tomatoes germinated, one of the eggplant and none of the capsicum. I have re-sown four seeds each of the ones that didn't germinate in the hopes that I will get at least one of each.

Bean seeds (Borlotti, Brown Beauty, Tender Delight, and Butter Bean) were direct sown into the soil and while they all germinated the earwigs have had a field day with them and not all have survived, those that have are growing well, but I have sown more in pots in the greenhouse and will plant them out when they are big enough. Leeks, shallots, sage and Thai basil are all slowly emerging too.

So there you go, October in the garden, despite the weather it was an especially busy time and I am looking forward to reaping the rewards of all my hard work in the coming weeks. What's been happening in your garden?