Another Broadbean update!

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broadbeans June 9th 2016

Last time I wrote about the broadbeans was about 6 weeks ago; my, what a difference those 6 weeks have made.  The beans have grown, and flowered and some of the pods are very nearly ready to be harvested.

 

My father eats the young beans still in the pods, so I might try that, although I might have left it a bit late with these two ….. the thought of that furry pod linings puts me off a bit!

I have interplanted the broadbeans with brassicas.  One plot has been interplanted with Kale.

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redbor kale

The other plot has been interplanted with cabbage.

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savoy cabbage

My plan is that the butterflies will not notice them nestled amongst the broadbeans.  Moreover, the hungry brassicas will benefit from the nitrogen provided by the roots of the broadbeans and, while they are still young, the shade from their leaves.  We will see.

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view of the vegetable garden showing the squares with climbing beans and the squares with broadbeans

You may remember that the two plots of broadbeans have been treated differently as one was double dug, and the other had organic matter incorporated into the top.  So far there had been little noticeable difference between the two crops, although there was slightly more slug damage to begin with on the plot which had more organice matter on the surface.  In the picture above the plot that was double dug is furthest away.

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Feeding the Bees!

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phacelia

As well as growing vegetables in my garden we grow a lot of flowers.  Obviously we derive a lot of pleasure from the colour and beauty they bring to our lives.  However, we also try and choose plants which we know will add to the biodiversity; which will nurture the animals that also consider this piece of land their own.

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bee on phacelia

In particular we choose flowers that the bees will enjoy.  It is important that it is not only our own honey bees that benefit from the garden, but also bumble bees;  I particilarly love bumble bees.  The phacelia is a particular draw for the bees, sometimes it seems to be alive with them.

The californian poppies have been very successful this year and are eye searingly bright.  However, although they have not been as popular with the bees as the phacelia.

I have more phacelia ready to flower a little later in the season.  They are in my flower circle which we have made in the middle of our lawn and which we hope will be a magnet for all kinds of bees and a pleasure for the rest of the summer.

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flower circle

We sowed the seeds earlier this year, at the moment it is looking very green ……. but oh!  It is going to be stunning in a few weeks time!

In the meantime, we, and the bees, are benefitting from the plants that I sowed last autumn and are already in full bloom.