I’ve bean and missed the pea deadline…

In keeping with the rest of the confusion around the garden this year, my poor bean and pea seedlings were kept in their root trainers for far too long as I cast about trying to find some sort of container to grow them in. 

One of the main issues I had when trying to choose a bean or pea crop was in finding out the yield per beanstalk. I found lots of forums online telling me the yield from, say, a 3m row of Borlotti beans, but nothing telling me the average per plant. So I decided to grow a variety of beans and peas and to do my own research so that next year I can specialise. I sowed about eight of each variety. As per usual, I tried to choose unusual varieties (such as the beautiful deep purple Shiraz mangetout) that are difficult to find in the shops:
– Borlotti Firetongue beans (dwarf variety)
– Mangetout (Shiraz)
– Mangetout (Golden Sweet)
– Mini sweetcorn (Minipop F1)
– Asparagus peas
– Sugarsnap peas (“Sugar Flash”)

Tom modelling the planting bag


Once I’d sowed them, I realised that I had run out of garden budget and so decided to try using shoppers (reusable shopping bags made from recycled materials) rather than buying containers. At the princely sum of 50p per bag from my local supermarket, they certainly cost an awful lot less than long planters. 

To sow in them, I simply cut drainage holes in the bottom, shovelled in a layer of gravel and then filled them with a compost / topsoil mix and added in the seedlings, supported by canes. Fingers crossed for lovely heavy bean harvests next year!

The bag being filled with a growing medium
Sugarsnap peas being planted in a reusable shopping bag

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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