peas

  • Broad bean experiment: did it work?

    How to Grow early Broad Beans with Vigoroot Pots, Growlite Coir and Water Saucers

    I have an update for those of you following my early broad bean experiment (Original blog post).  Firstly to recap, this is a new and rather different method of growing broad beans in Haxnicks Vigoroot Pots, Growlite and Water Saucers.

    Broad beans in Haxnicks Vigoroot Pots Beans have started to grow

    You will recall I sowed the beans in December.  Possibly much too early for broad beans but I like to experiment.  Then I kept them permanently indoors on large, bright windowsills. They must have liked the conditions as they soon began to grow.

    The Haxnicks Water Saucers meant watering was a fortnightly task so very low maintenance.  I just checked the water reservoir and topped up as needed.  The integrated wicks did their job taking the water and food directly to the plant on demand.

    Pollination

    The next challenge was the lack of pollinators in the house, and generally around this early in the year.  So I stepped in with my soft paint brush and gently dusted the flowers to transfer the pollen.  Then it was a waiting game to see if the pollination had worked.

    Paint brush being used to pollinate broad beans Delicate touch to pollinate the flowers

    Pretty soon the flowers fell away and the swelling of the bean pods could be seen.  As often happens with these experiments we didn't quite get it right.  We didn't pollinate quite as many flowers as we should have done meaning that the crop is a little smaller than expected. Still enough to make a great meal, with more to follow, and we now know that we just need to do a bit more brush work next time.

     

    Young broad beans pods growing on a plant The broad beans starting to grow
    Young broad beans pods on a broad bean plant More broad beans growing

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Broad bean pods on bean plants Broad bean pods almost ready for picking

    In conclusion the experiment was a success and it is possible to have home grown broad beans on your table by May 1st.

    The only thing left now is to make the huge decision between simply drenching them in luscious melted butter or trying something  new like Olive Magazine's Broad Bean and Mint Panzanella with burrata  

    Decisions, decisions!

     

  • Salad anyone?

    We have returned back to a very grey and rainy England with not much hope for our little shoots after slight neglect for a week. However, we were greeted with huge shoots bursting to get out of their Rootrainers!  Seems like time to get the husband out building the Haxnicks Raised Bed with it’s very handy Raised Bed Polythene Cover to keep those courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes growing upwards and outwards into something edible for my plate.

    Haxnicks Raised Bed with polythene cover on and plants inside I have plants now in my Raised Bed

    Most of all, the joy of this Raised Bed is that you construct and locate it wherever you wish, so for convenience it is sitting right outside our kitchen garden door.  As much as I love my garden who wants to traipse to the end of it to pick their veggies!  We have added a variety of herbs too - why not!

     Haxnicks Raised Bed with polythene cover off and salad plants showing  

    Pull back the polythene cover for easiy watering and as you can see we have a little bed of very healthy young plants which we hope to harvest sometime in July.  We will be back in July with an update!

    Haxnicks Raised Bed with polythene cover off and slightly larger salad plants inside Really growing now - here comes summer!
  • Runners around the Maypole

    garden_maypole_with_runner_beansThe Haxnicks Garden Maypole

    First of all, just because something is practical doesn’t mean it has to be boring. The new Haxnicks Garden Maypole Plant Support is an attractive frame for climbing plants. Suitable for flowers such as sweet peas or vegetables such as runner beans.  It bridges the gap between functionality and ornamental interest.

    Though Instagram would have you believe it, decorative vegetable gardening is not a new idea. For many years vegetables and herbs have been a feature in ornamental gardens. Many have interesting textures or colourful foliage and flowers.  Many also smell great.
    As a result, when grown alongside traditional ornamental plants, they really add interest.  Their shapes can create wonderful contrasts and harmonies. Simply designing your vegetable garden in a different way can make a big difference and make it visually more appealing.  Introducing trellises, archways and other architectural features is quite simple and can be stunning.

    Haxnicks Garden Maypole stands over six feet tall.  It creates an elegant frame for climbing vegetables.  Runner beans, French beans, mange tout and peas are all ideal. The Maypole is tough and durable year on year. It is strong: the material selected for the centre pole and decorative finial is black powder-coated steel. From this eight rot-proof, polypropylene strings radiate out.  Finally strong galvanised-steel anchor pegs complete the package.  Like most Haxnicks products it is easily packed away and stored once the season has ended.  And can be used again the following year.

    Vegetable Garden

    Runner beans are one of Britain’s most popular home-grown vegetables.   From sales of the Garden Maypole it seems that Britain’s gardeners are getting more adventurous about where and how they grow them too.

    As long as gardeners are having fun with their plot and creating something they love then we are happy.  However, if you always grow your beans up canes.  And if the beans are always right next to the strawberries. Just behind the lettuces. Next to the onions.  And if it just might be time for a change to happen.  Garden Maypole might be the answer.

    If you decide to go for a redesign then please tag us in your Social Media posts.  We would love to see your new improved garden.

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