Monday, 21 March 2011

Broad beans, onions and water

Broad beans
The air was slightly warmer with a gentle breeze and as dry as a bone. The forecast for the week is dry and warmish, so it seemed the right time to plant out the broad beans. They have been sitting in the greenhouse to keep them cool and stop them growing too fast. If they do grow too quickly they get floppy so when they get planted out the first bit of wind blows them over and possibly snaps the stem. That isn't always too bad, because the plant usually grows on again and is just a bit later to produce beans. The ground was very, very dry, so they needed a lot of water to set them on their way. I strung up some simple supports until the have got used to being out.

Winter Onions
I marked out the rest of the plot with little marker sticks. It gives us an idea where to plant things when their neighbours are not ready to plant yet. To do that I need to know what the spacing is for the plants in the rows and between the rows. This varies for different plants and can be varied to stimulate different growth, for example wider spacing of onions can help to grow bigger bulbs. I can't remember the spacing from one year to the next, so I look them up, but that means remembering to do that before going to the plot. We do have a printed copy of the plan pinned up in the shed so it occurred to me that printing the spacing on it would mean I had a copy there, so when I've finished writing this I'll add the spacing to the plot plan and reprint it.

While Jean planted the onion sets in neat rows, guided by a string line, I watered the asparagus, strawberries, garlic and winter onions. As I watered the asparagus I noticed the first spear has just emerged, so the season will soon start for real. The winter onions are beginning to look a bit stronger after sitting under snow for weeks.

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