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Fruiting Planting Days in Mid Autumn – Broad Beans, Peas and Snow Peas

The Broad Bean seeds I planted nearly a month ago are up and looking healthy, and I have a spot where some zucchini and squash have just come out, so today they’re going out into the garden.  It marks a real turning point. The autumn planting is here!

They were potted up in my usual compost and creek sand mix with some wood ash mixed through, and I’m giving  each a good double handful of compost mixed with wood ash as I plant them out.  My soil is a bit more acid than they like it, and the ash will bring the Ph up a bit, and the potassium levels too.  I’m watering them in with some seaweed and nettle brew to help them stave off the last of the summer’s aphids.  I’ve been using Aquadulce variety the last few years, and planting earlier than I used to, and it seems to be working except that it means I’m planting out while aphids are still around and broad beans would have to be one of their favouries. But by planting earlier, and an early variety, I”m getting decent crops even this far north, right on the margin of broad bean territory.

I shall plant another round of seed in the shadehouse today too, so as to have at least one successional crop.  And I’ll plant the first round of peas and snow peas. I only plant climbing varieties these days.  The return on space is so good. I have Telephone and Massey Gem peas and Oregon Giant snow peas.  The Oregon Giants did well for me last year but I’m still looking for a variety  I used to have  that was such a good bearer – a relatively short climber – about 1.8 metres – and very mildew resistant. If anyone knows what it might be?

Last year the mice got my early rounds of peas and snow peas and in the end I had to bring the potted seeds inside and rig up our Weber barbeque as a sort of temporary propagation house.  This year I have my fake owl, and the broad beans all survived without being stolen, so I’m hopeful.  But I’ve brought one pot inside just so I can monitor when they should have germinated.  If the mice get them, I won’t wait so long to replant this time.

I shall also put a couple of kinds of tomato seeds in a propagating tray.  Yellow cherries and Principe Borghese have both done well for me as winter tomatoes in the past.

A nice easy, slow Sunday morning in the garden. Then time to bake bread, read the papers right the way through, go for a walk and see how the creek is faring, chat on the phone to my kids for ages, and maybe even light the fire under our outside bathtub for a “star bath” tonight. Mmmm Sunday.


{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Liz April 1, 2012, 4:15 pm

    I’m feeling quite behind now, I still have beds full of summer plants. I plan to plant my garlic this week but wont have space for broad beans or peas for a couple of weeks yet. I love watching broad beans grow, and aren’t they photogenic.

  • Linda April 1, 2012, 5:25 pm

    You’re in Melbourne so you’re not behind, you’re just perfectly in tune with your environment! I’m in Northern NSW and we only really get about 10 weeks of winter, so I have to grab every minute of it.

  • Gillian April 2, 2012, 12:49 pm

    A star bath – that sounds magical! I am loving the change in weather here – slightly cooler and drier so it looks like that is the end of our wet season. I have been busy getting seeds into the ground. we can grow snow peas here if we get cool weather during the dry so I am hoping this year is it. I love snow peas.

  • Jason Dingley April 2, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I just planted broad beans, peas and snow peas a couple of days ago too. During summer we grew the beans up the fence on the outer side of the garden. Wanting the nitrogen fixing to be spread around the beds I have planted them on the inner side. Alas no fence to climb. Trying to simplify the garden as much as possible, do we need offer them anything to climb besides the surrounding plants? What did you do when you had the mandala garden?

  • Elaine coolowl April 2, 2012, 8:40 pm

    Doesn’t a star bath sound amazing! Snow Peas … mmmm OK and very dear in the shops but Sugar Snaps – now *there’s* a Pea! Eat pod and all when young, sweet crunchy and fabulous raw. We too up here just north of Briz, need to wait for our all-too-short winter to plant peas and cabbages. Or in my case, Broccoletti which I’ve heard from someone who grew it, is a long-lived plant giving lots of cuttings of smallish Broccoli. They’re at the 2-leaf stage now and sitting in pots with good rich mix so they will be big and strong before they get put out into the garden.

  • Sandy April 2, 2012, 10:03 pm

    Its a great time of year (and we are just to the north of you in Brisbane). The broad beans are in and have just poked their heads up, keeping the potatoes company, who are yet to show. The garlic is in and well sprouted, two long lovely rows. The others are in the nursery and sprouting nicely and next on the list is peas along all the fences. I’ll be looking forward to trying your winter recipes with this lot

  • Linda April 3, 2012, 9:11 am

    Winter is such a good growing season in subtropical climates isn’t it. Much better than summer. I love winter crops, just hate getting up in the morning in the cold!

  • Linda April 3, 2012, 9:12 am

    I have never had great yields with Sugar Snaps, but maybe I should try them again. You are tempting me! And I’ve never tried Broccoletti but it sounds like exactly my kind of plant.

  • Linda April 3, 2012, 9:18 am

    Hi Jason, I grew dwarf varieties. Greenfeast used to be my favourite variety for years. I used to just poke twiggy prunings – only 30 to 40 cm tall – from trees in around them to get them up off the ground. Beans like poles or string to climb, twirling around. Peas like twigs or netting, with lots of fine things for the tendrils to grab.

  • Jason Dingley April 3, 2012, 9:45 am

    Thanks Linda, that’s the sort of simple, resourceful and affective solution I have come to expect from you.

  • Marjon Holt April 6, 2012, 12:00 pm

    Hi Linda,
    I’ve been reading your blog and getting much needed inspiration since signing up a few months ago. Your use of the lunar calendar really interests me, more as a planning device than anything (but I have an open mind). However I’m having trouble finding one in the Blue Mountains – apparently they’re all sold earlier in the year – and I’m not sure which/whose calenders on the web would actually cover this area. Can you make any suggestions as to where I might find one I could put into use. Hopefully yours, Marjon

  • Linda April 6, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Hi Marjon, I get mine from Green Harvest http://www.greenharvest.com.au/books/posters_and_calendars.html – the BP144 2012 Moon Poster one. I’ve been using this one for about 20 years now! I use it mostly as a planning device too. I have never been able to really figure out whether it has any effect beyond placebo on plant health, but it has a lot of effect on my stress levels. It just reduces the number of decisions I need to make at any one time down to a nice, pleasantly interesting level.

  • Marjon Holt May 1, 2012, 5:13 pm

    Hi Linda,
    Thanks for your answer to my query about moon calendars – a bit late but I lost the right spot in the blog! Meanwhile I have been roughly following the moon cycles and am finding that it really does help organise me. I find myself checking my little diary to see what I am up to. Amusing really because I’ve never before remembered to look in a diary despite my best efforts 🙂

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