Vegetable Growing 2019

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by Steve R, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. Sheal

    Sheal Total Gardener

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    I haven't grown runner beans for a couple of decades so decided to try my luck with them up here in the 'frozen north', having moved to the Highlands two and a half years ago. :) They started to sprout just over a week ago and have gone berserk, now eighteen inches in height. I've moved them into a cloche type greenhouse hoping it would slow them down but they really need planting out. My question being, is it too early? At this time of year in my area there is little chance of a frost now but I'm wondering what the minimum overnight temperature would be for them to survive. I could start more beans but without heat they take a good two to three weeks to germinate. Your help will be much appreciated please.
     
  2. john558

    john558 Super Gardener

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    I wouldn't give on those Sheal, but I would sow more, what I do is sow the seeds on damp paper towels and plant them when they shoot in McDonalds/KFC cups as they are deep, pop a couple of holes in the bottom and you are good to go.
     
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    • Sheal

      Sheal Total Gardener

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      Thanks John. You are right, I can't lose anything by sowing more. :thumbsup:
       
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      • Moley

        Moley Gardener

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        The warm and sunny long weekend, followed by 3 and a half days of rain, seems to have the approval of the first batch of potato pots that have suddenly grown considerably.

        spuds1.jpg

        Also got the first few specks of green in the first pot of carrots in the greenhouse, but nowhere near enough for me to get giddy and take a photo yet.
         
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        • shiney

          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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          @Sheal The beans are quite tough once they have germinated. The cold will slow them a little bit but it's best to make sure they're frost free for another few weeks if possible. If you have any short canes that can be put in the pots then you can let the beans climb those. Then, when planting out, just plant the short cane with the plant. Having just that bit extra support until putting out will help build their strength. I sometimes use bits of broken canes - they always come in handy. So a 3ft cane is ideal.
           
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          • Sheal

            Sheal Total Gardener

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            Thanks @shiney . :blue thumb: They've already topped those little green canes that can be bought in a pack. I think I'm growing triffids not beans. :biggrin: It would be quite unusual to get a frost here now but I'll try and hold them back for a while.
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              A lot of my canes start off at 8ft and, over the years, end up getting smaller and smaller. Yesterday I started putting up the ShineyFrames for our beans. I've only done enough for 100 plants so far and seven of the canes broke (old age and rot from where they have been in the ground each year for a long time). They'll last for many years yet but will gradually get smaller :noidea:
               
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              • Freddy

                Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                I always found with runners that they didn’t really crop that long, so for me there wasn’t much to be gained by sowing early. To that end I ended up sowing direct in the ground.
                That said, I recognise that up north the season will be shorter.
                 
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                  Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
                • shiney

                  shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                  Ours start cropping in July. Sometimes just a few in the first week of July but a fair amount by the end of the month. It's usually the first or second week in August when they really get going and go through to October.
                   
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                  • Scrungee

                    Scrungee Well known for it

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                    @Sheal Many years ago I remember a gardener from near Nairn posting (on another forum) about problems with the short cropping season for runner beans, and pondering whether it was worthwhile growing them.They were bringing them on under cover (and providing stick supports) to extend the short season.

                    I would suggest using deep 'rose pots' [1] if keeping in pots for any extended period to avoid them becoming potbound. Another method of getting a head start is to save the roots (runners are perrenials), digging up and overwintering them indoors to plant out the following year.

                    [1] I use these for early sown runners, sweetcorn, sunflowers, etc. Deep Rose Pots 1,2,3,4,7 Litre Quality Plastic Plant Pot | eBay (also useful for deep potting on of tomatoes).
                     
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                    • shiney

                      shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                      I quite often find that last year's plants regrow from roots that I have missed digging up. This is easier for them as the beans are always grown through weed suppressant plastic. So they are, more or less, frost free.

                      The plastic is rolled back each Autumn, ground dug and composted and then the plastic is rolled back. This keeps it weed free (some of the bean roots may have got lost in the dug ground :)) and the soil is much warmer. So an early start for the plants is worth a chance as long as there's no frost to catch the tips.
                       
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                      • Freddy

                        Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                        I found that within a few weeks, they started going tough/stringy. I understand they like their roots in the shade? Not something I was able to provide really. I imagine though a good mulch might have been the answer.
                         
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                        • Sheal

                          Sheal Total Gardener

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                          Thanks Shiney, Freddy and Scrungee. :blue thumb: For me this year they are an experiment to see how well they do outside. They are my favourite vegetable and they're almost impossible to buy here, last year I couldn't find any at all which is why I'm having this trial with half a dozen plants.

                          Scrungee I'm living approximately 30 miles north of Nairn so the outcome is not looking good, but it's worth a try. :) I'll keep you all posted as to whether they survive and produce beans.

                          Oh dear Freddy! A good mulch? My sandy loam devours it very quickly. :doh:
                           
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                          • Freddy

                            Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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                            Maybe a rubber/plastic based mulch? I think @Scrungee uses something along the lines? Just a thought.
                             
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                            • shiney

                              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                              Our beans are in full sunshine but we add a good dose of compost/mulch every year. The weed suppressant plastic may help but I'm not sure (it certainly means we have no weeds and we can walk on the ground without getting muddy shoes.

                              Siting the row(s) N/S and not E/W helps in exposed areas. also picking the beans younger is worth trying.

                              What variety of bean do you plant?
                               
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