Posts Tagged ‘Broad Beans’

I’m a little late with my current season updates this year, but anyway here we go…

 

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Giant Goosefoot ‘Magentaspreen’ Seedlings

One of the most ornamental Salad Greens I have on my allotment is the Magentaspreen Giant goosefoot, the centre has a beautiful magenta colour which shows up differently in photo’s, they are very similar to ‘Fat Hen’ aka Good King Henry (there’s such a thing as a good king? .. whatever).

I made the effort to keep some Phacelia to go to flower, mainly as they are very beneficial to various pollinator species but also because it is a Green Manure, it pays to let some go to seed to keep my own stocks up. Watching bumblebees visiting Winter and Summer Squash flowers can be quite ammusing, they seem to aim for the flower and just fall in, I don’t know if anyone else has ever noticed this, I noted this with quite a few bees on one particular day.

I still have a few smaller Borage plants still to open flowers, it seems like my self seeded patch is quite weaker / smaller this year, it may be that I have loads more going on at the Allotment this year that perhaps I am giving the dedicated wildlife flower section less attention.

I decided to allow the Broad Beans which were sown at the same time last year as my Garlic on top of the new Hugel / Suntrap to go to flower and seed (the intention was as a Green Manure where you dig them into the soil as you see them forming flowers) They made a nice addition to a stew we made. As an experiment, the Hugel / Suntrap has various support / companion plants sown on top with one Tomato, Sorrel, a couple Salad Burnet (Perennial) , Rhubarb (Survivor / volunteer) and two Asparagus crowns (these are purely to experiment, I obtained many crowns [20+] and can afford to lose two if all goes wrong).

 

Mid summer update coming up soon …

Whilst all beans will have the useful trait of being Biological Nitrogen Fixers (Leguminous) for our soils (Bringing Nitrogen back into the soil naturally) which may have leached out trough heavy rainfall, for example.

The Broad Bean (Fava Bean) is particularly useful to anyone who prefers to ”model nature” (John Kohler’s words) and not rely on chemical non-natural based off the shelf products which, in the end, bring a negative balance to local ecosystems.

Broad Bean Plants

Broad Bean Plants

Positive Traits that make them so useful:

  • Tolerant of heavy soils (Clay),
  • Cold Hardy (not specifically needing be grown in a greenhouse or poly tunnel during winter),
  • Nitrogen Fixing,
  • Green Manure (Chop and Drop before going to seed / flower),
  • Some varieties are used as animal feed and forage,
  • Extremely easy to save seeds,
  • Vigorous growth and,
  • Fast germination too

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