Today I dug my runner bean trench. That’s when I know that the vegetable season has really taken off. The only problem was that the raised bed still had purple sprouting broccoli and red onions growing in it. The broccoli has been sweet and tasty but has not produced many heads. I was holding out for a few more before I cut it down but I needed the space so out it had to come. I harvested a good armful of broccoli leaves though. They make a rather good cabbage substitute. The onions were more difficult – they aren’t mature yet but I needed the space so I pulled them up to eat in salads. I left a few in the middle to grow a bit bigger, along with some self-seeded nigella which is just too lovely to dig out.
Then on with the fun. Here is my recipe for success. First dig a trench along one edge of the bed:
Then fill it with damp newspaper:
Then a sprinkling of dried seaweed meal. Pile the earth back on and do the same on the other three sides.
Finished product with an island of onions and nigella in the middle, and my grandmother’s border spade.
I’ll plant them out in a couple of weeks time with a wigwam of poles to hold them up. I’ve done it this way for years and it seems to work. Here’s last year’s bean flowers with self-seeded borage:
This year they have a little educational material to help them on. My boys have been clearing out their bedroooms after exams. Some of their history jotters, maths homework and some music went in the trench along with the newspaper. (It was all in the paper recycling bin so I hope it was finished with).