Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hey, look, things are happening!


This year, mainly due to some minor yet hassley health issues, I did not get around to starting seeds indoors in time to make it to the garden in proper time, so I'm going to need to pick up tomatoes as seedlings.

But...I've still gotten a bit of a seed fix by sowing some seeds outdoors last weekend. I've planted some more bachelors buttons (they did very well last year), as well as lettuce, spinach, broccoli, beets and (with a wish and a prayer to the weather) some runner beans.

We haven't had frost in a while, and don't have any in the forecast, but it's still a little early.

So, I'll be posting more on each of those plants as I get on with it, but I want to talk about the beans now, before I live to regret putting them in so early!

I grew bush beans a few years ago on our apartment balcony. They did ok, but not crazy-good and they took a lot of space and when they were done, they were really done. I don't remember that happening with my grandma's bush beans, especially when I was out there picking them (hours and hours, I'm sure!), but I've read that bush beans are like that and pole beans aren't.

If you read back to 2009, you'll see that last year I planted Morning Glories and Moonflowers to climb on a homemade trellis by our shed. The Moonflowers got eaten before they had the chance to vine, and the Morning Glories grew beautifully but never flowered (I've heard that happens if they're fertilized, but I didn't so I don't know what happened--never had that problem before!). Not much glory in that.

But I've been watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution and, as I always like nearly free fresh food anyway, I thought I'd put in some pole beans. After looking around at my choices, I switched course only slightly (apparently, runner beans aren't quite the same--whatever) and got a pack of Scarlet Emperor Runner Beans (packed by Botanical Interests--this is a fun seed company--go on and let their website pull you in, you won't be sorry!).

If the internet is to be believed (and when is it not, right?) Scarlet Emperors have gorgeous red flowers, tasty snap beans when picked young, yummy lima-like beans when mature, and pretty mottled dried beans when, well, when you dry them, I guess.

And, runner beans are supposed to produce all season long!

So, despite temps in the high 30's just after I planted them, I'm holding out hope and dreaming of fresh picked, fresh cooked green beans, most likely eaten while gloating over the utter loveliness of the stunning red flowers on my trellis, most likely while watching a flock of humming-birds fly in formation while (insert humming-bird verb here-what is it they do with flowers? sip? peck?) -ing on those stunning flowers and thanking me profusely.

Might not happen, but if we can have some good eating, I'll be more than happy!

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