The trials and triumphs of Plotting!
posted by lilymarlene @ 3:56 pm
Hello Lilymarlene,I see nobody has posted to try and answer your question.I have seen this occur with my early french beans. I beleive it to be the effects of when the ground tempurature has been irregular coupled with a check to the water supply. Some of this is common sense which you are no doubt saying to yourself "yep I already did that" and I'm sure you have forgotten more about the cultivation of vegetables than I will ever know but here goes.I'm sure you have some of your lovely compost to give them a great start in life. When preparing your bean area I would recommend that you dig a trench several weeks before planting (Maybe a month) and add a whole load of it with several torn/screwed up newspapers and some of that well rotted manure you have (Mix all this up). Then cover this back up with your topsoil. This will give the plants a rich fertile and oxygenated bed which will establish fantastic roots.Make sure that when you plant the soil is nice and moist to get them established as quick as possible. If you are planting direct from seed I would dib the hole and fill it with about a pint of water before pushing the seed and filing. If you are growing in seed trays then dig your holes, fill them up a with couple of pints of water from the can and then plant once the water has drained, make sure the plants are nice and firm in the ground.After planting but (Maybe two weeks in the ground) I would begin to apply that lawn mulch to the maintain a more consistant soil tempurature. Keep adding more as the cuttings dry out. Try to leave a couple of inches unmulched where the roots are to let the air in and thats where you aim when watering. Try not to water the mulch too much or it wont provide that nice blanket mulch is supposed to as it will rot down quickly producing extra heat but then cool down and provide no insulation at all.Beans are hungry plants too so a regular water supply is an absolute must, even if it rains its is sometimes not enough. I dont think you can really over water beans once they get to a certain size (obviously dont drown them, you know what I mean). When the pods start to develop you can also give them a nice treat of weak nettle or comfrey tea a couple of times a week to keep the plants rigourous during the time when they spend a lot of their energies pumping up those lovely pods nice and quickly. Water the soil and not the plant (or the mulch). if you have the patience I would definately use a rose with large holes in a circular motion rather than throwing a couple of buckets over the roots which can shock them with the sudden change of tempurature. It looks like yours went stop, start, stop, started which has produced beans which I am sure will taste lovely but look less like the ones you expected. It happened to my early french beans this year. The second and third crops have been phenominal by comparison.I hope this helps,CazI have linked your site, a lovely read I must add. Perhaps you could link me too. Anyroads, good luck with your beans,
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