New ways with beans

I’m sick of Melbourne’s anti-bean weather. We get a warm spell in spring and I think, “right, this is it” and I sow beans. Then we get a cold snap, the temperature plummets and it rains and the soil is cold and wet. Seeds rot, exit beans, stage left. Oh, and I forgot to mention all the little critters below the soil surface who just love to chew on a nice tasty bean seed.

So I’m trying something new.

The beans in the milk bottle planters are doing well. That’s because, when the first lot of seeds rotted, I took the bottles into the polyhouse and filled them with clean potting mix, with a bit of dynamic lifter and blood and bone mixed in and sowed the beans in there. Warm, protected environment, clean soil, and watering just enough to get germination happening, but not enough to rot the seed. When they were up and growing strongly I hung them back on the side of the deck. No problems :

For the beans I usually sow in wicking boxes, I’ve sowed the seeds in 3″ round pots, again in the same medium and left them in the polyhouse until germination and they’re robust enough to plant out :

I’m mostly doing climbing beans this way and all I need to do when I plant them out, is provide a stake or framework of some sort for them to climb on. I’m not separating the individual plants, just planting the whole pot. These have gone into one of the large planter boxes with a tomato for company. As it gets bigger they’ll start climbing through it :

I think this will be my way of dealing with beans in the future.

3 Responses to “New ways with beans”

  1. narf7 Says:

    I grew my own beans a few years ago and that’s my aim for next season. The problem at the moment is going to TAFE (physically, prior to this we have been able to take advantage of studying from home) makes it very hard to manage studies and planning and I need to get my head around succession planting, knowing when to plant seeds etc. and I still haven’t done that. I get most of my hints and tips from here (hint hint 😉 ) so keep them coming Bev :).

    I bought (shame, I know…) bean seedlings this year and a big bag of aged sheep manure and liberally mulched them with it into two of the wicking beds. They are happy at the moment although our weather isn’t much better than yours, we did miss most of the deluge (despite fibs from the weather men) and I got Steve to put netting around the wicking beds that we just filled to stop Earl from scoffing the slug pellets or the slugs would have scoffed my beans!

    Excellent post that is getting tucked away in my gardening folder. Thank you Bev. I LOVE your tutorials and hints and tips as they make me a better gardener 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fergie51 Says:

    I’m hearing you! I too have tried starting off the beans and then transplanting this year and it has worked a lot better. I’ve sprinkled wood ash around seedlings this year and touch wood, no bugs have had their fill yet! You know now that I’ll go out in the morning and that will have changed….. Cheers, Maree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • foodnstuff Says:

      Good idea with the wood ash. I must do that too. The extra potassium should help with flowering and it will deter slugs and snails which are my two main problems.


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