Beans are as created for the small kitchen garden. They are relatively expensive to purchase, but easy to grow. They are rarely affected by diseases and pests, and can give quite a good yield on a relatively small area. If you have only limited space available, it is most economical to grow bar beans, which give the greatest return per square meter.
Beans can advantageously be pre-cultivated in pots or a root trainer, as they may be a little exposed at first if sown directly in the open. Germination can be bad if the soil is too cold, just as the small plants can be completely stopped if the weather suddenly changes to cool and windy after the emergence - and finally the brand new bean sprouts can be a delicacy for various birds. By pre-cultivating, you can get started faster even if the soil outside is still too cold to sow in, you avoid holes in the rows and instead have robust plants to plant out when the soil is vacant after a previous crop.
… .. as in this bed.
The overwintering bulbs have laid down and been harvested - and as the bulbs grew in the outer rows, there is just room to set up a bean stand, even though the beets are still filling the bed. The beans were sown in rootrainers almost 3 weeks ago with a few seeds in each cell so that 2 plants can be planted per stem without disturbing the roots.
The bulbs are for drying in the open air, but must be covered if one day there should be rain. The one variety (the white lettuce Kosma), is grown for the first time this year, but has only given half of what was expected. On the other hand, it has given rise to a bit of wonder: they were put in two rows with 50 cm in between, where all the plants in one row (and only in this row) went in stalks to form bulbs. And I have no idea why. There is always something that fails in a kitchen garden, where everything can neither be controlled nor explained - and instead of getting annoyed, you sometimes have to learn to just say "shit".
Written by Peter Norris, June 11, 2018