Before I start, I should probably declare that I really like broad beans. They’re a very tasty vegetable which I enjoy growing. This isn’t an anti broadie post. There, that’s my disclaimer.
However, I have developed a broad bean prejudice that needs tackling. The problem with broad beans is that they’re so difficult to justify in limited space, but so tempting to sow at the same time. Being a plant that you can grow over winter as well as one of the first things to sow in a new year, they have a certain amount of excitement associated with them. Together we lap up the Spring conditions, and they grow into lovely, healthy plants.
But then this happens:
Now, I’m about as far from a renovating Restoration Man hero as you could possibly get, but one thing I do like is a greenhouse refurb…
At my previous house, I inherited a knackered old greenhouse, with (amongst other things) endless missing panes, a broken vent and a jammed-solid door. The inside harboured problems too. Once I’d cleared out the shoulder high weeds, there were other problems inside too, such as missing clips, buried junk, and shards of broken glass.
However, any greenhouse is not to be sniffed at, whatever the condition. They’re brilliant tools for veg growing, but they’re also expensive , so if you’re lucky enough to have one on your plot or in the garden, it is well worth going to the effort of repair. I’ve started patching up the greenhouse that is in my new garden, and I’m following most the same tips and pointers as I did before. Here are 6 tips for getting a greenhouse ship shape.
Recently, I blogged about the advantages of buying seedlings rather than growing from seed. With the veg patch at my new house very much a work in progress, I’ve struggled to find time and space to grow seedlings this year, so I’ve bought more seedlings than I would have done usually.
There have been a number of advantages to this approach. I haven’t needed my greenhouse (handy, as the one I’ve inherited is virtually paneless presently…), it’s been quicker and easier, and I’ve been able to concentrate on turning the garden around. However, there have been disadvantages too. Seedlings are more expensive than seeds and I’ve felt uncomfortable at times with not being in total control of the process, as well as missing the enjoyment and satisfaction of nurturing little plants from scratch.
That said, buying seedlings is an ace way of filling gaps in your growing programme, whether you’re trying to save time and focus on certain crops or pests have taken out a sowing. Normally I grow pretty much everything from seed, so this Spring has been another learning curve in the allotment adventure for me. Here are 4 things I’ve learnt to look out for when buying plants.