How Many Beans Make Five

It’s not shaping up to be a good year for legumes, what with one thing and another. Even casting a veil over the whole dropped pea seedling incident, the cold and the wet has meant very poor pollination of my broad beans, although the plants themselves look fairly healthy, if a little knocked about by the wind. And the wind has taken even greater toll of my climbing french beans which had the misfortune to be planted out just before the gale which felled the tree. They hadn’t had a chance to get a decent grip on their beanpoles and as a result they ended up rather broken and battered, with their dwarf cousins not looking much better either. I didn’t see any of the climbers making it through the spring, so pathetic did they appear

Fortunately I still had spare seed and time so I planted some replacements straight into the soil. Days passed, bringing more cool, windy, drying weather and a couple of days ago I cracked and planted some more beans indoors where they would have a chance to germinate without being blown to bits or wind-dried first.

I had forgotten the first law of seed germination:


They only come up after the gardener has given up all hope.

And the ‘dead’ ones they were replacing are showing a few glimmers of life to boot.

Although even I can’t see much of a future for this one.


6 Responses to How Many Beans Make Five

  1. WOL says:

    I hope you can resolve your bean difficulties and get a decent crop out of them. Many of my favorite vegetables are beans. . . .

  2. Anonymous says:

    Argh.. Better late than never. I have had similar false start with beans too. I am just thinking of them as autumn beans …

  3. Flighty says:

    There’s you complaining of the cold and wet whilst here it’s been warm and dry! There must be somewhere where it’s been okay.
    My broad beans have had no blackfly and are now starting to form pods. Some of the climbing beans I sowed last week have already appeared.
    It really is a poor year if the runner beans don’t do well. xx

  4. wightworld says:

    My beans were so bad last year that for a totally irrational idea I decided NOT to do them this year (french and runners and something horrid called Ying Yang – look great taste awful) but neigbhour gave me some broad beans (before I could say I DON’T LIKE BROAD BEANS) and so of course ironically they have grown beautifully while being shoved in rubbish ground usually preserved as a slug compound and totally windblown! Go figure. Of course the squash I REALLY want to eat aren’t growing and the brassicas in general have been appalling whether planted in polytunnel or out….. I’m beginning to think that instead of doing different things each year to try and second guess nature I should just do the same thing every year and probably get equal (or more) success! Still, it gives us something to chat about eh?

  5. disgruntled says:

    WOL – I have to say peas are my absolute faves, but broad beans come a close second
    Anon – yes, mine were a bit slow getting going last year too, but this one’s been worse
    Flighty – hmm, warm and dry would actually be pretty good right now.
    wightworld – oh no, broad beans are LOVELY but you have to take the little inner skins off. Squash will grow if you feed it coffee grounds.

  6. […] to. And the french beans? Well, the french beans got planted out the day before the huge gale and never really recovered. Although I planted more, it was always a game of catchup and they barely flowered, let alone […]

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