Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Bean Trenches - Over-Wintering Broad Beans

Bean Trench
Bean Trench

Now is the time of year to be sowing over-wintering Broad Beans.

Well worth doing as this will help to deliver an early crop of lovely beans in late Spring. One of the first crops of the season,

You need to choose a suitable variety - I always use Aquadulcia Claudia - as these have delivered excellent results over the past few year.

Bean Trench
One of the things that helps all beans along - Broad - Runner - French - is a bean trench.

Simply dig a trench - one spade deep - along the row where you will be sowing or planting.

Then chuck in some organic material.

This can be fully or partly rotted compost  or manure. You can also add old newspapers as an aid to water retention.

This year I'm using manure from the site heap - a delivery was arranged to the site in Spring - so this is good stuff now after a few months of rotting down.

Bean Trench
Then simply backfill with soil.

Final tip - plant a stick at either end of the trench so that you know where to sow your row of beans !

All I need to do now is get the seeds and get then in the ground. One of my favourite sights of Winter is seeing the young plants breaking through - a reminder of another allotment growing season to come.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

A New Plot - Still With A Sea View

St Ives Cornwall - Allotment
Allotment With A Sea View - St Ives Cornwall

Allotment With A Sea View has moved !

Not far though - just one plot across and two up - next to the boundary hedge and so more sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds. Still with lovely views to either side - of the Atlantic Ocean and the Penwith Hills.

This came about when a neighbour on the site decided to retie from allotmenteering - and kindly offered me his plot.

I though about this for a while - as I've put three years of work into the old plot - composting - manuring - improving the soil - building up a strawberry bed - planting willow.

But the new plot has a lot of advantages - its been very well cared for and the soil is in excellent condition. It has its own boundary fence - and the clincher - I now have my own shed !

I've transferred my compost bins over and transplanted most of the willow. I've been out today and dug bean trenches ready for my over-wintering broad beans to go in.

Looking forward to another productive year on my plot.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sunday On The Allotment - 16 March - Spring Is Coming

St Ives Cornwall Allotment - 16 March 2014
At last - both time and weather have allowed me to get back out to my allotment on the edge of the Penwith Hills. I'd forgotten how much I enjoy it.

Spring is very much in the air - and I can't wait to get things in and growing.

But - a misty day today - while the rest of the country basks in sunshine - West Cornwall is shrouded in fog.

After the Winter storms and rains - the plot is in fair shape. We have really well draining soil.

Seed Potatoes - Charlotte
The first rows of seed potatoes are in. After a wonderful crop last year - which we have only just finished eating - I decided to stick with the same varieties.

Charlotte first earlies and Wilja second earlies.

Looking forward to potato salads in June.

Broad Beans - Aquadulcia Claudia
My broad beans - Aquadulcia - sown back in November - are looking a bit bedraggled after all the foul weather we've had in Cornwall.

But past experience shows that these tough little plants will grow on well as things warm up - and deliver a tasty early crop.

Won't be long before they need staking up.

The perpetual spinach - to my surprise - is still growing well - it was sown way back in June 2013. I picked a nice harvest for Sunday dinner. This has proved a real winner - and it freezes well when I have a surplus - so I'll be sowing more this year.

Pea Seeds - Hurst Green Shaft
My final job of the day was getting some peas sown.

This year I'm sowing a variety that I've grown before - Hurst Green Shaft. After a terrible crop last year I'm hoping for better results.

One thing that I'm planning to do is protect the plants with some horticultural fleece.

Strong winds are a constant problem on our site - so this should help.

More news from my St Ives Cornwall Allotment soon - as Spring and another year unfold.