Sowing the seeds

This week I’ve been making my final sowings of the year. I’ve sown two rows of broad beans in each of these two beds below. The furthest bed will be for harvesting, and I will sow more rows in the Spring for successional crops. The nearer bed will probably be cut down before harvest as a green manure. I didn’t have field beans which are traditionally used for cover crops, but I do have plenty broad beans. I can get a small harvest from the plants before I chop them down by nipping off the growing shoots and stir frying them.

The ‘cloches’ were inherited from the adjacent canal boat mooring, and are shop fittings rescued from a skip by the boat owner. They make a handy cloche ‘nursery’ to protect the bean seeds until they have emerged. Otherwise they may be dug up and eaten, as unlike my garden, the plot is not visited every day by humans. This makes it easy pickings for wildlife.

Beds with cloches, new planting tub

You can also see in this photo a large tub planter which I’ve moved from my garden to the end of the plot. It should be deep enough to grow one oca and some sweet peas, and I can still get around the sides to access the back of the beds. In the foreground, one of the sea beet plants is looking encouragingly leafy, so I have some hope that the plants may produce more leaves from these deep beds.

I have also sown some bulbils of Babington’s Leek to keep the Skirret (wild carrot) company when they arrive.

So for now, everything is sown and planted. The next job is to painstakingly weed out the hundreds of little grass seedlings. I’ve been hoeing, but of course they just root back into the soil. But to protect the plants that I want, I must remove them as grass is a hungry and invasive crop. I want to grow vegetables, not graze sheep. Wish me plenty of patience.

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