Chris's Weblog – City Chickens

Tag Archive: runner beans

Sowing A Colourful Variety of Climbing Beans for 2018

I have quite a few old favourites amongst the Runner Beans in my seed box and this year have added a few new varieties just for fun. The first seeds to be sown were Climbing Bean Yard Long. on 5th April, I have started 16 seeds in toilet roll tubes with 100% germination. These are an unusual variety of climbing bean that produce pods that grow up to 3′ in length. The pods can be harvested from when they are 1′ long and make a tasty addition to any meal. 

Climbing French Bean Cosse Violette, pictured in the header of this post, is a strong growing variety of Purple French bean that can be harvested over a long period. Sow the seeds directly outside from May- June in rows 12 ” apart. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and water them in. These plants will require support as they grow. To prolong the harvest crop the plants regularly. A fortnightly feed with a tomato type fertiliser will result in better crops. Keep well watered in dry weather. 15 Sown indoors on 11th April.

Surprise Bean from Philippines. These are beans given to me with no label and no explanation other than that they were posted from the Philippines so we will have to wait and see. Sown 17th April.

Climbing Bean Blue Lake – I have grown this variety successfully before and have been very pleased both with how prolifically it has grown and the taste of the beans  when cooked. Considered one of the gourmet varieties, these are a prolific producer defying the driest of summers, whilst remaining sugar sweet, stringless and tender with medium length beans. Excellent and easy to deep freeze. Can be grown against a trellis, on poles or up netting and require little or no maintenance. A white seeded variety. growing to 5′ or more.  Beans are hungry crops that require ample organic matter dug in prior to sowing. Sow in pots undercover in April for an earlier harvest or directly outside when all danger of frost has passed. Sown 17th April.

 

 

Runner Bean Kelvedon Stringless & White Lady

white ladyThe runner bean seeds went in today; one tray of Kelvedon Stringless and one of White Lady. All the seeds were saved from last years crop. Runner beans seem to be the easiest crop to collect seeds from and so after the first year don’t cost a bean as it were. Both varieties are prolific and you have to keep an eye on them at harvest time. They are best picked young and tender and they do freeze well so don’t let them grow too big, except of course those that you want to collect next years seed from. White Lady – Generally reckoned to be one of the best available runner beans producing a heavy crop of tasty, stringless pods with white seeds. The white flowers are not prone to bird damage and the variety sets well, even during periods of hot weather making it ideal for late sowings. info from alanromans.com kelvedon stringless 

Kelvedon Stringless – Disease resistant, early and high yielding, producing delicious stringless pods about 10″ long.  Maturing 12-16 weeks from sowing. info from Dobies

I Think We Need Another Freezer!

We spent a pleasant couple of hours at the plots this morning and I managed to tidy the two beds in front of the greenhouse and get some of the young brassica plants in there. The Chinese leaf that we had planted had gone to seed so I had planned to pull it up but instead cut of the seed heads and left the plant in place, planting brassicas in the gaps. They may come to something, they may not, we shall have to wait and see. A few of the pak choi seeds we put in have grown but there were a lot of gaps so I popped a few brassica plants in between them too. We covered the plants with the mesh tunnels and netting as the pigeons are still about. We brought a load of stuff back today; a white cabbage, carrots, runner beans (loads), borlotti beans, the last of the Charlotte potatoes, a large courgette and tomatoes. We gave the Chinese cabbage tops to the chickens so nothing was wasted. Every time we go down we pick the runner beans and although we love them and eat a lot I still have to freeze loads. I know that we shall eat them through the Winter and next year till the next crop but there still seem to be too many. I either need another freezer or more friends who like runner beans. The carrots we pulled today were our best yet. They were out of the carrot bin and were a mixture of Rainbow and Chantenay.

 

Courgette Anyone?

It has been a while since I wrote on the weblog but there hasn’t been much to report. The weather has gone from one extreme to another and there is a definite hint of Autumn in the air already. We are getting loads of runner beans every visit now and we have been amazed at how prolific the four courgette plants are. Every time we go to the plots we bring home a carrier bag full of beans and at least two courgettes which seem to grow overnight. We had never eaten courgettes before but luckily we do enjoy them aswell as being able to give some to family and friends. We continue to dig up the potatoes and it seems like about 50% are blight free so not as bad as we thought and we haven’t had to buy any. The tomatoes have produced a few fruit but on the whole both the tomatoes and the cucumbers have been very disappointing. We shall have to try harder next year.

pumpkin

The pumpkin plant that survived is now enormous with quite a few smallish fruit and one very large beautiful golden orb which Rob has sat on a piece of carpet and looks very grand. The butternut squash and the one surviving melon plant are growing slowly. The lettuce plants have been very nice but have come to an end before the tomatoes have got started so some problems in the planning there.

 

 

sweetcorn

Both the baby corn and the big sweetcorn plants are thriving with cobs already swelling on the bigger plants so we are hoping for a good harvest from them.

We heard that we got 78 points in the local council competition but don’t really know what this means and so as we have received no congratulatory phone call we must assume that the judges did pop their heads into the lean to on that dreaded judgement day and we came out bottom of the class. Ah well.