The Broad Beans of 2019

This weekend I realised that my Broad Bean ‘Crimson Flowered’ seeds, although hardy, are not suitable for sowing now (late-November) for an early 2019 crop.

Having spent a somewhat mild Sunday morning digging over my vegetable plot, and de-heeling the spare Blackthorn and Hawthorn bare-root plants from my ‘persuasion hedge’, I was all set to sow a crop of broad bean seeds so that they could harden off over winter and be ready to provide me with those delicious protein-rich beans in early spring.

Sadly, the ‘Crimson Flowered’ variety wasn’t suitable for that, so I just *had to* go to my Suttons seed catalogue and spend some time flicking through to find the variety for me.

A bowl of freshly harvested Broad Bean 'Crimson Flowered' bean pods.
My first harvest of Broad Bean ‘Crimson Flowered’ from my garden. They were delicious!

I’ve chosen Broad Bean ‘De Monica’, as it’s an early variety that *can* be sown at this time of year, and it’s also fine in low-light conditions, which works as this piece of garden is close to my fence.

These, along with a slew of other seeds that I accidentally purchased (more on those another time), will no doubt be arriving later this week.

Winter growing

It may be almost winter time, but I want the garden to still be working for me. The spring and summer of 2018 was immensely tough for most plants in the garden – either too cold and wet for too long, or like a furnace for months. Many were stunted, or were incinerated by the heat, so 2019 really has a low bar to beat.

Digging in the garden
Digging the vegetable plot on a November morning.

Digging the garden was quite easy. During the summer, this soil was concrete, and my tools were bending and creaking to crack out rocks of soil. I’d lightly mulched it with grass clippings towards the end of the hot summer, and now it was much softer – a little sticky – but in good condition for its inevitable sowing.

The Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ look on from their raised bed, continuing to throw out brightly coloured stems to brighten up the drab winter days, and many a meal.

Brightly coloured stems of Swiss Chard
The Swiss Chard ‘Bright Lights’ grew well near by shaded fence, and lived up to their name.

I was joined by a robin whilst digging – it’s busy movements darting around me fearless. They’re hugely territorial, so no doubt it wanted to check what was going on, and what i was doing for it in its garden!

Robin in the garden
This Robin was extremely interested in what I was doing.

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