Friday, October 9, 2015


I love fresh beans!  I grow plenty of them in season, eat them lightly cooked - in salads or not - and freeze them for winter.  This year I'm planting to have bounty to give away too.

I'm recording my second planting - forgot to with my first and they only took about a week to germinate, so are now being planted out.  I plant them in seed raising mix for a faster germination.

So, day 1, seeds planted.
Now if you're sharp-eyed you'll note that these seeds have a "best before" date of January 2012, almost four years ago, but so far they are still giving me a germination rate of 100%.  I keep them in the fridge all year, and I have been saving seed year on year and using some from the packet and some I've saved.

I have to say that this company - and I have no affiliation with them other than as a satisfied customer -  have produced awesome seeds.
If you want more information, this is the link

As you can see, these are Blue Lake, a runner bean with a smooth pod.  I've been growing them for the last six or so years, very successfully (and mostly from this same packet by the looks of it!)

Day 3 - two of the seeds have moved themselves to the surface.
 (Centre top and lower right)

This used to greatly bother me, and I  have to admit that as a beginner gardener I've even been guilty of pushing them back under soil!  Until I realised that the seed is the bit that forms the top and not the roots of the bean!!

And now for a comparison between seeds from the same packet planted in the punnets in the shed, and outdoors in the spring -

This bean was planted 18 days ago, and only appeared two days ago, so two weeks before there was any sign of life.  And yes, there are weeds around it, I leave the soil undisturbed when I'm waiting for something to happen!

 This is the punnet shown above, but from the opposite side, and all six are now visible, with two very hungry to see the world!  These are now seven days since seed sowing.

I've erected a bean frame, every year I put together posts and poles  and use twine to make a seasonal frame, as I don't have a permanent one.  This works very well, and means I can rotate where the beans grow in the garden from year to year.  It looks a bit hillbilly at the moment, but once the beans start covering it, it won't look nearly as bad!

So here we have Day 18 of the indoor planted beans, and Day 25 of the outdoor ones.  The indoor ones are twice as tall, and working on their next pair of leaves.  One has decided the world is too hard, so I'm likely to be planting out five of the six original seeds as plants.  The outdoor ones have had six of the seven germinate.
Day 25, one week later than above, and today I've planted them out under my bean frame trellis thing.  I cover them with see through sleeves (from organic milk containers!) to stop the birds pecking and the snails having a feast.  They can't stay in these forever though, and they don't really develop a strong enough stem until I take them off - they need to learn to stand on their own feet as it were!

And now, here we are, three months after first planting the seeds with beans being picked every day.

I picked the first ones about three weeks ago, this is a photo of today's pic.

I love the long round smooth pods of the Blue Lake Beans!