Saturday, 21 April 2007

Beans and peas

I planted beans and peas today - always the most exciting seed packets to open!

I put in all the Borlotto and Canadian Wonder I had space for - they're for drying so they need as long a ripening season as possible and they'll all be harvested at the same time. All the others (runner bean Prizewinner (can't go wrong surely!), Purple King and Delinel) will be sown a little at a time to extend the cropping season as long as possible.
I also planted peas Sugar Snap Delikett and mangetout Ambrosia (which I'll sow successionally as with the green beans).
That done I wrapped the bean trellises in net to keep the birds off (apparently pigeons love sprouting bean plants). It was a little difficult on my own and took far longer than it should have done - I kept getting tangled up! Not knowing how these things are usually done, I ummed and aahed and ended up sticking the net to the canes with electrical tape! (I use it for everything at work - why not here?!)

In the middle of all this, I was surprised by a sudden squawk and loud ruffle of feathers behind me, and looked round to see a huge pheasant in the allotment next to mine! I've heard that squawk before and other allotmenteers nearby weren't the least bit surprised to see it, so he must be resident, and as I ran to get my camera he wasn't at all worried about me being so close.

While out buying my bird-protection netting in Wilkinsons I accidentally bought a box of six young lavender plants. It was too tempting; the lavender seeds I planted haven't even stuck their heads up yet and I bet they'll take ages to produce a worthwhile plant anyway, and they were really cheap, so I gave in and planted three near the pond, in my 'wildlife area', so it's starting to look a teeny bit less bare! The only other thing planted there so far (not including pond plants) is some horseradish, which is taking a long time to get started. The other three lavender plants will stay in their pots until I've dug a bit further down the plot.

I was also given some baby raspberry plants today by a friendly neighbour (they were popping up in the doorway of her fruit cage) but I'm not sure where to put them. I've planned to plant a 'bumper pack' of eighteen plants in a row near the bench in the autumn and I'm not sure there's room for more, plus I don't know what type these are or when they'll fruit. They're in pots at the moment anyway, waiting for me to decide their fate...

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