French Beans (394 days to go)

by Max Akroyd

Regarding most of May’s sowings and planting outs I’ve got beds prepared, or at least in a state of readiness. The realisation dawned today that, with the French beans, I’m nowhere.

Extra potatoes and the celery/celeriac have pushed their way forward in the queue and got their names on the remaining trenches. The cardoons and artichokes will get planted through some mulched sections once we’re through the Saints de Glace period. The runner beans at least have one edge of the Perennial Beds plan to themselves. Where to put the French beans? 

To clarify, these are the climbing versions. To order things in my old brain, I reserve the dwarf type as a follow on crop from the potatoes: it’s simplicity itself to rake over these beds once the spuds are out and throw in a few rows of beans. But arranging things vertically for the rest of the French bean crop maximises yield. Not sure I’ve got enough canes but I can always coppice some of the many hazels around the place. The bean seed are in to soak, just to get a root shoot off each one before bringing them on in pots.

All the plan now lacks is some growing space. And time. Today has been allocated to seeing our delightful bank manager and going to an art exhibition with Emma. Two years of servitude to the new baby will make such things nigh on impossible for us soon, so we’re seizing the chance today!