Time for a tidy

With Organic September here, it’s beginning to feel decidedly Autumnal. The peas are finished, and the beans are all rather stringy so this week I’ve started pulling them out and removing the frames. They had got rather untidy (storm Ellen didn’t help!) so I’m pleased to be able to tidy the place up a bit, but the beds do look rather small and empty now. I realise that I made a mistake with my beans this year – I just had too many! To be honest I didn’t think that was possible but because of how many I had I didn’t stay on top of picking and they quickly got stringy and old. I’ve also decided that:

  • I prefer climbing beans – there is something off-putting about picking beans off a muddy floor.
  • I much prefer round podded beans to flat podded ones. At least next year I’ll know what to grow and I’ll be much more selective!

I have also had a good sort out of my netted brassica bed. This season my husband built a brilliant frame for me and I used fine netting but it’s amazing how the butterflies still manage to get in! That said it is much better than my attempts last year when I had to remove all the brassicas because they were just too covered in caterpillars. The one downside of the netting is that it makes it difficult to weed and keep an eye on the plants, so it was nice to take it off and have a good sort out. Some of my broccoli plants have already produced some broccoli shoots (not very impressive ones) which was a surprise to me and I’m wondering if they’ve finished – I bought these in desperation at the start of lockdown as an unknown variety of calabrese and had assumed that they would produce later in the season. I’ll leave them in, for now, to see – a few years ago I removed all but one plant when I thought they had finished and the remaining one went on to produce masses of broccoli shoots a couple of months later!

For those interested in the pre-accessions that I was growing they are mostly now podded and drying out ready to be stored with our other seeds in the HSL cold store. Based on the observations that I’ve made, as a team it will be decided whether these should be added to the Seed Library or not – if they are successful they will be grown out again in larger quantities (most likely on-site at Ryton Gardens) and then in a few years, it can be added to the seed list to be distributed to members.

More about Lucy...
Lucy is part of the fantastic Heritage Seed Library team, working hard to grow and preserve seed varieties that are no longer available so that our members can enjoy growing them at home. Raising two young children, Lucy is keen to grow an array of fruit and vegetables to become more sustainable and to encourage her children to get involved in growing.

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