Sunday 25 April 2010

It's Not Rocket Science...

...hopefully it's Bean Science.

Spent 1.5 hrs at the plot today sowing carrots and attempting to transplant chitted parsnip seed. Got thoroughly soaked so returned home for a hot bath. "For you my friend the plot war is over"

Following my last post, and the helpfull suggestions put up by contributors, I decided to try an experiment with my beans. Fortunately I recently acquired a bulk supply of those plastic labels, and I was already ready to sow my beans so it wasn't much trouble.

I've got 44 pots and and two beans go in each pot. I need 44 labels each marked with the variety and the oriention of the bean seed. All are planted to the same depth.
The four orientation are

U = Up
D = Down
SL = Sideways Lateral
SV = Sideways Vertical

Here they go in:

In their serried ranks

The army on parade.

Every group of four is experiencing exactly the same conditions, be that in the open, in the greenhouse , shed or house. This last option doesn't seem to be realistic so I hope the good weather forcasted can be trusted to continue. I'm going to record speed of emergence and time to reach 6 inches high. I can rearrange the pots to group all the Us and Ds together after they have all, hopefully germinated.

Will there be any difference???

Saturday 15th May Update

Here's the army reassembled for comparison purposes:

The four beanless pots are the Pea Beans which failed (clearly)

From the other end it looks a bit greener:

Friday 23 April 2010

Which Way Is Up

This weekend is "Go For It Weekend". Any seed that is left that is "hardy" gets sown direct. Anything "half hardy" gets sown direct and covered with fleece or sown in pots and kept under cover at night. Any seed left that is "tender" gets sown in pots in the "greenhouse" and even brought indoors on cold nights, until mid/late May. This last catagory includes BEANS.

Now the big question: Which way up should you sow your beans?

The pictures below, from last year, illustrate the dilemma. The mirror smooth casing softens, a root is sent down and the two fleshy halves of the bean seed (cotyledons)split and rear up on the stem. Don't tell me that it makes no difference which way up the seeds are buried in the pot! But searching away there is no opinion to be had on this issue. Everyone seems to think there is no right way to sow a bean! Well I don't buy that. The guys at the bottom of the page know the answer, but they're not telling!

The principle orientating feature of a bean (I learned from the web today) is called the "hilum". This is usually described as the "scar" on the bean. Should it point up or down? (Or sideways?). Please tell me because I've got a hell of a lot of beans to sow this weekend!

Sunday 18 April 2010

More Rhubarb - More Daffs

Lifted the lid on the dalek at the plot today and found this:

Took the dalek away:

In its full glory:

Neighbours, everbody needs good neighbours...

Back home:

Boy it tasted sweet.... and sour. Mmmmm

And here's some more daffs




Time spent at plot this weekend: 1.5 hrs in the rain - 1 new fleece cloche full of beets (roots and leaf). Also picked som rhubarb!
Money spent: £30 - Bamboo canes (beanpoles) Potting Compost, Peat pots (for beans) Tarragon (French) (Two visits to the Garden Centre in one weekend. Naughty)

...and I think I forgot to record my purchase of 100m wire two weeks ago
Money spent £15.50!!!

Saturday 17 April 2010

Gone fishin'

Just a boring catch up post, so I thought I'd brighten this post up with a picture or two of a visitor to our local pond this week.

Boring statistics:
Time spent:
Last Saturday 2 hrs
Sunday -nil
Midweek 1/2 hr - (Woohoo) my first evening visit this on Tuesday
Today - nil

Money spent this week: £50 - growbags(x3), tomato plants (x6 each different) chicken pellet manure, slug pellets (organic approved), grit, sand, gravel and more fleece + coriander seeds.

And I've swallowed my pride and decided to chit (sic) some parsnip seeds. You might just be able to read that one side has T&T (Tender & True) and the other HC (Hollow Crown) written on the wet kitchen paper. I'm ready with the tweezers if and when these sprout.

Saturday 10 April 2010


Living several miles away from my plot and not having a secure shed I have to bring with me whatever I need to use each day. Invariably I foget (or fail to foresee) something. Once or twice it has been the key to get into the site (particularly annoying as I tend to keep different hours and the entrance is some distance from the working area) but usually it's something less vital but pretty irritating. Have you tried lighting a fire without matches? Result - I tend to accumulate clobber that is transported back and forth - just in case...

Today I emptied out the several carrier bags that are cluttering up the corridor/ coal cellar/car boot:

Time I took down the dilapedated greenhouse and replaced it with a shed! The only problem being that sheds get broken into and the more secure you make your shed the more effort the vandals make to open them, either by toppling them, prising the roof off or failing all else burning them down. Perhaps I'm stuck with my clobber.

But just in case you think I'm prevaricating because I've done no work on the plot, I have also been turning this...

... into this...

... and sowing carrots....

... and cosseting the strawberries.

Oh, and the spuds are all in!

Don't you just love a holiday?

Monday 5 April 2010

Thurso - That's where it is!

I'd like to thank the municipal council for doing such a good job of labelling things in Thurso. As I promised to post a picture of daffodils at Easter in Thurso, the labelling of the tub was more than helpful!

As you can see they are a bit behind, but not that much!

Other things are well labelled too - like the Tourist Office

One thing not well labelled is the seal colony in the town centre. Probably just as well! Those brown lumps on the futhest point on the island are seals.

Here's another view:

I didn't get closer as they got nervous.

I appreciate this isn't anything to do with growing vegetables in an Edinburgh allotment but at least you can appreciate why I haven't got much done lately.

For the record

Time spent
last week: 1hr (sorting strawberry patch - rain stopped play)
this week: Good Friday 1hr (ditto)

On the plus side, money spent: nil (I already had the strawberry mulch mats from last year!)

Next week it's going to be sow, sow, sow.


psst - The daffodils aren't later in Thurso, it's just that when they come out they hop on the bus south. Here's some I caught in the act...

Friday 2 April 2010

Before we were so rudely interrupted...

After the (latest) big freeze,

Here's my greenhouse onions:

and parsley:

The greenhouse thermometer showed Min -3 C Max +42 C.

Phew, thank goodness I took them indoors last night.

Grown in the kitchen today: