Posts Tagged ‘beans’

Tomatoes from my garden

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Tomatoes from my garden

I love growing things in the garden. It’s wonderful to step out of the kitchen, walk across the lawn and pick something fresh to eat.

The runner beans have got lots of flowers on them and some little beans are starting to form. I’m looking forward to being able to pick them.

I was given a nice healthy pot of tomatoes and have enjoyed watching them grow. Yesterday I decided that the first few were ready to pick. I cooked a meal, and then when it was ready, I went out to harvest the tomatoes, fresh and warm straight from the plant. They were delicious!

Still eating beans

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Eating my runner beans

I’m still enjoying eating my home grown runner beans! I love going into the garden and picking them fresh to bring them in and cook them straight away. Now the clocks have changed and we’ve gone back to GMT, I have to remember to pick them early because it’s too dark by 5.00pm. It’s hard enough to find them in good light because they hide behind their leaves, so in the dark it’s impossible! I suppose that’s one advantage of having my hours cut. I can get home early, pick my beans and cook a proper meal instead of being too tired to cook and just snacking.

We’ve had such amazing weather during September and October, so warm and mild and sunny, that I expect it’s quite unusual for me to still be eating my own beans when it’s nearly November, but I don’t know as I haven’t grown them before. Does anyone else know?

There are still plenty of little beans on the plant needing a few days to mature so that I can eat them, so I expect it will a race betweem them and the frost. I would imagine that the first frost we have will turn the plant black and that will be the end of them for this year. I will definately grow them again. I’ve enjoyed it. It was fun watching them growing, and I love eating them. They’re so sweet and tender, so much better than the ones you can buy in the shops. Next year I’m going to expand my vegetable plot and try some broad beans as well. I’d like to try corn on the cob and courgettes too.

The photo shows the beans cooked and ready to eat. They’re sitting in a bowl of my favourite china, Sophie Conran for Portmeirion.

I’m eating beans at last!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

If you’re a follower of my blog, you’ll know about the problems that I had with my first crop of beans. My second crop which was planted quite late in the season has at last started to produce beans!

I nurtured the plants this time and kept them high up for as long as I could. When I planted them out in the ground, I went out slug hunting every night. I took a torch and my trowel and each night there would be anything up to 5 or 6 big fat juicy slugs. Some were the usual black ones, some were brown and some were orange. I’ve never seen so many different types of slugs before, but then I haven’t actually searched the garden with a torch before!

They didn’t last very long. I chopped them in half with my trowel and watched as their insides oozed out. I had to be careful not to get my shoes splashed with slug insides – not very nice. I didn’t like chopping them in half, but if they had kept away from my beans I wouldn’t have had to do it. I couldn’t let them decimate my second crop. I left the chopped up bodies near the bean plants because I discovered that they attracted other slugs which meant that they left the beans alone.

So I’ve watched as the plants slowly climbed up their canes, had lovely red flowers which attracted big fluffly bees, and started to grow little beans as the flowers died back. It’s been really interesting watching the growing process. Now at last there are enough young juicy beans to pick for a meal.

I start cooking the meal, then I go out and pick a handful of beans. They’re lovely and fresh. I either steam them for a few minutes or microwave them. I like putting them in the same dish as a thinly cut up carrot in the microwave. They’re gorgeous! They’re sweet and beautifull! I’ve never tasted such lovely beans before! It was well worth all the effort and the nocturnal trips down the garden. I’ll definately grow them again.

Here are the plants when they had reached the top of their six foot + canes. Haven’t they grown a lot since the last time you saw a photo of them!

Runner beans

Decimated by Slugs

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

You may remember that in the Spring I planted some beans that I had saved from last year’s crop. After giving a few away, I had four nice healthy plants that I had planted out in the garden and was nurturing. They were doing well. They needed watering and slugs removing and of course talking to but all that didn’t take long and they were responding well.

Then I went on holiday. I was away for just over two weeks, and I expected them to have grown a lot during that time and I was looking forward to seeing them when I got home.

Oh dear, what a shock I got! They were completely decimated. Everthing had been eaten by slugs – all the leaves and most of the stalks had gone. I was so upset. I watered the stumps for a few days to see if they would be able to sprout again, but there was no growth at all.

By now it was nearly two months since I had originally planted the bean seeds in little pots so I had no idea if there was enough time to do it again, but as I still had some beans left I thought I might as well have a go.

This time I planted two beans in each of the little pots. I kept them warm and watered and kept looking to see if they were sprouting, but nothing happened for a couple of weeks. I was beginning to think that they weren’t going to sprout, but then the beans started to split and a thick stalk grew out from between the two halves of the bean, and two leaves that seemed to be folded up inside the bean unfurled themselves and broke free to spread out. It reminded me of a butterfly coming out of it’s chrysalis. It was amazing watching them grow.

I kept the little pots high up away from slugs, and they’ve been fine. I’ve just repotted them into a bigger pot – not into the ground this time. I’m going to make sure they’re big and strong before I take any chances of slugs finding them. They’re looking really healthy and I’m enjoying watching them grow, and I’m looking forward to being able to pick fresh runner beans.

This is what they looked like just before I repotted them.

Grow beans grow

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

When I went out to check on my beans, they had holes in their leaves! I’d spent weeks looking after them and nurturing them so that they were strong and healthy, and after only one night out in the real world, they’ve been attacked!

I’m sure it won’t matter if the lower leaves get eaten, as long as the growing tip is safe. So I’ve been telling them to grow so that they reach up and away from whatever’s eating them.

It will either be snails or slugs, but I can’t remember which. I heard on Gardener’s World the other day that only one lot of them was around at the moment, but I can’t remember which one. Anyone else know?

I meant to go out with a torch last night and have a look to see what was happening and see if I could pick off the culprits, but I forgot. I’ll have to get into the habit.

Soon they’ll grow tall and safe and wind their way up and round their bamboo sticks, so I won’t have to worry about them any more.

Planting out

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Just over 5 weeks ago, I planted some runner beans in small pots. They were ones I had saved from the plants I grew last year. I probably should have planted them out sooner, but they seemed quite happy in their pots, and I wanted to wait until it wasn’t so cold and pouring with rain.

I chose a bit of ground and dug it over to make it nice and friable and I took out any stones I found. Then I dug in some of my home made compost, and put in the little plants, heeled them in and watered them.

I started off by planting 12 beans. 3 didn’t germinate and I gave some away which left me with 4 nice healthy looking plants. That should be plenty. I’ve planted them near to the house so that even if it’s raining I can easily nip out while I’m cooking and pick a few to steam.

I’ve enjoyed watching them germinate. The bean splits open and a stalk starts to grow out of it. Gradually leaves appear. Isn’t it amazing what can grow out of seeds.

Enjoying the garden

Monday, April 20th, 2009

It’s a gorgeous day today. It’s warm, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. I’ve just hung out some washing on the line for the first time this year, rather than have it hanging on the airer over the bath.
I love watching washing fluttering in the breeze. It’s a very satisfying feeling. When it’s dried outside in the sun and the breeze it smells so good when it comes back in and perfumes the house with a lovely fresh summery fragrance. I wonder what it is that makes it smell like that?

While I was outside, I stopped to enjoy the sights and sounds and smells. The lawn has just been mowed for the first time this year, and as well as making the garden look neater, newly cut grass smells wonderful.

I could hear birds tweeting, someone hammering a few gardens down, and someone sawing. There are some lovely colours in the garden now – purple honesty flowers, usually grown for their silvery papery seed pods, but I love the flowers. A lovely lime green plant with little bell flowers (whose name I’ve forgotten!) and beautiful delicate green hellebore flowers. Aquilegias are in bud and it won’t be long before they open their intricate flowers that are also called Granny’s Bonnets. Rosemary is flowering with delicate little blue flowers along it’s spikes.

I was given some runner bean seeds by a friend last year and although it was my first venture in growing vegetables for a while, they grew well and it was lovely being able to go and pick some and cook them straight away. I just steam for a few minutes. I kept some of last years beans and they’re now planted in little pots. I need to perpare some ground ready for when they’re big enough to go out and grow up their bamboo poles.