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Fruiting Planting Days in Mid Spring – Beans of Many Kinds

These are the Rattlesnakes planted in July in the shadehouse and planted out in August, the seed a gift from Deb at Footprint Reduction in the Burbs. We’re picking enough to eat every day now, and they’ve joined the ranks of my favourite beans.

 These are the Blue Lakes and the Purple Kings, seed planted in August, planted out only a month ago.  They’re just starting to bear. They are saved seeds, two of my old favourite varieties.  The Blue Lakes are classic french beans, round pods that are tender and crunchy and green.  They are gorgeous young and steamed very briefly.  The Purple Kings have big flat pods a stunning purple colour.  They go green when cooked, and they have a robust beany flavour.  They’re best in slow cooked dishes. They both work well as beans for drying and storage too.  The Blue Lakes have seeds a bit like cannellini beans and the Purple Kings make a good kidney bean substitute.

These are the brown seeded snake beans, seed planted at the same time in August.  They’re a tropical bean, so they’re a bit slower to get going early in the season, and they really like it a bit wetter than it has been.  I’m looking forward to them – they are my favourite bean for salads and stir fries and anything where you want a bean that keeps its crunch.  They bear really prolifically, and the seed makes a decent azuki bean substitute.

And I was going to finish this post with the snake beans I planted out yesterday, seed planted a month ago and raised to lovely, healthy, 15 cm tall seedlings in the shadehouse, planted out this time of year they should just about catch up with the earlier ones.

Except a bandicoot got into the garden bed last night – I didn’t shut the gate tightly enough and he pushed it open a crack – and dug them all up, along with the capsicums and the eggplants and the tomatoes and the zucchini and the squash and the cucumbers.  I spent this morning trying to repair the damage, but he’s broken lots of stems.

I remember my son as a tiny tot answering one of my bandicoot blaspheming sessions with “But mum, bandicoots just like to dig”. They do indeed.

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{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Marijke October 27, 2012, 12:31 pm

    I’ve just found a positive on my rock hard clay soil, the bandicoots can’t dig deeper then the sad 7cm of topsoil I’ve managed to create in the last year. They do visit us, but only dig around the roots of established plants, they’ve learned to live with it, extra drainage?
    Even with the challenges of local wildlife, soil, drought and dry gusty winds, I still love spending time in the garden, sowing, harvesting and building trellises. It’s quality time with the kids, they love to help, nothing as nice as to see the kids eating their snacks straight out of the garden. Sitting on one of the rocks along the pond eating broad beans, snow peas, tomatoes, blueberries while wearing a lipstick of mulberry juice.

  • greenfumb October 27, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I’m so glad that your rattlesnake seeds have germinated, I have not been able to get a single one to come up. I think the bandicoots are digging them up despite all my chicken wire barriers. I am trying to grow some in pots to transplant now in the hope that will help. Summer won’t be summer if I don’t get any of my favourite beans.

    I did manage to get two snake bean plants from the vege box seeds so will let them go to seed and get a few more.

  • farmer_liz October 28, 2012, 6:55 pm

    argh bandicoots destroyed my garden last year, they are so sneaky! They seem to have stayed away this year (or I succeeded in filling all the gaps in the fence with weeds), but I have a chicken that keeps flying in and I haven’t been able to catch her and clip her wings because they all look the same and she runs too fast! Your beans are looking great, I must remember to start mine earlier next year, the ones that survived the chicken are still tiny 🙂

  • Liz October 28, 2012, 9:34 pm

    I loved your sons comment! I have to admit being quite pleased I don’t have bandicoots to deal with in suburban Melbourne, as good at digging as they are.

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