Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wednesday 22nd March - Beanz Meanz...

... A great big trench lined with cardboard and filled with manure. Welcome to the world of runner beans.

The idea was to dig down at least 2 Ft however Allotment 21 has, according to Spouse, the dubious benefit of being right on top of a seam of glacial gravel. Now although Spouse is no geologist, he has been on a hole-digging course at work and is brilliant at finding thousands of health and safety reasons why they can't be dug.

We have lined our shallower-than-usual trench with moisture retaining cardboard, shoveled in a thick layer of manure and topped the lot off with soil. Hopefully the beans will never know.


clairesgarden said...

manure is marvellous stuff ,you could always heap more earth on top and have your beans growing on a wee hill, I loved your peasant post, fits in round here!!

lilymarlene said...

Thanks for linking to my blog! I'd do the same for you if I could figure out how to do it...!
Love yours....!

Allotment No 21 said...

Thanks Lilymarlene, your site looks really well designed. It's amazing how many bloggers visit here without linking - I am thinking of culling a few off my list ;)... (evil cackle)

Greenmantle said...

Given how thirsty runner beans are, I reckon it's worth a trip to B&Q for some plastic pipe - the kind used for kithen sink waste outlets. I drill holes in the pipe about 5" apart, and bury it at the bottom of the trench, with an "L" bend at each end, and another short length of pipe sticking up out of the soil at end.
This way you can water down the pipe, straight to the roots. It's a hundred times more effective than surface watering, and you don't need to do it so often. You'll get much healthier beans in periods of dry weather.
Also, when it's hot, beans benefit from a regular but light misting of water,sprayed all over them from a hose or had sprayer.
It helps the blooms to set and you get a heavier crop.

Petunia's Gardener said...

Yours is one of the blogs that caused me to start one too. Any linking etiquette to share - do I ask first or just link? My co-worker just got a 'pea-patch' spot (Seattle allotment name) so I'm introducing her to the great allotment blogs. Thanks for the demonstration on the bean trench too.

Allotment No 21 said...

I LOVE Greenmantles tip and have been trying to persuade Spouse to dig out the trench again to lay the pipes. Spouse is being extremely uncooperative and I might have to wait until next year's trench.

Hi Petunia, I add links to any good blogs I find as I go along. I'm not sure about the etiquette but some blogs are better 'linkers' than others. I like your site and will follow your progress - you even have sheep!!

Judith said...

Another watering method is to take a large plastic bottle and cut off the base. Bury it top down as deep as you can and then water the nearby plants by filling it up. This directs the water at the roots.

You can then use the cut off base by sinking it level with the soil and filing with beer as a slug trap.

I'll take a photo and put it on my blog soon.
Nice blog!