Friday, February 10, 2012

Besser Block Bean Bed

Dare you to try saying that six times quick!
The beans I planted in here are all soup varieties, not easy to find as seed packets but very easy to find if you buy a plastic bag of bean soup mix from the supermarket. I sorted out the various bean types- haricot (white), red kidney, stripy borlotti beans and black eyed beans. All have had good germination. Over winter I'm planning to grow blue boiler soup peas (more starchy than fresh pea varieties). Forget the split peas of course because being hulled and split in half all they'll do is compost, but with some looking around the whole ones do turn up sometimes.
Next year I'd like to try mung and adzuki beans as well, which I think our friendly Indian grocer in Ballarat sells. I did try growing lentils a few years ago, but they're very fiddly with lots of tiny little pods holding two lentils each! We don't really eat chickpeas so won't bother with them. I'd be curious to try the big white lima beans but I've read that they need a long growing season so I'd have to be ready to get them into the ground immediately after last frost and even then it might be risky.

I'm still planting green bush beans in the garden which will hopefully just make it to maturity before our first frost. It's too late for climbing varieties which take longer to mature. I'll be putting in my last few plantings over the next few days then switching to the pea family instead.

I've got bean beds all over the place. I figure they'll be improving the soil as they grow so I'm using them to establish/re-establish veggie beds. This one below is busy reclaiming a strip in a weedy corner. I'm also growing pumpkins among the weeds.

 I let things get a bit deliberately wild down the back of our yard to blend into the creek area. Native trees and shrubs plus a few drought hardy but non invasive exotics, and only the tough veggies planted between them.

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