Last year, I made a note that tuckers was much better value than suttons when it came to broad beans . I even counted them. And one packet of Tuckers gave us an extra double row of beans. So, this year, having cleverly read my own notes, bought 2 packets of broad beans from Tuckers, knowing this would give us four double rows, and spent some time planting them in modules.
I know others get by very well with direct sowing, but we don’t. We have bad problems with birds and mice nicking the seeds, and then slugs and snails eating the remaining shoots; – I grow what I can in pots first.
It’s a little production line of pots, those that need it starting in the propagator, the more cold loving just in the greenhouse, then out onto the patio to harden off, before planting (which we still have to net until they are established, to stop the jackdaws who seem to like to pull the plants up just to see what is underneath).
We divide our work up, himself does most of the digging and I plan and plot and plant and pot! And when I have nurtured the plants to the point of being ready, we plant them together. The digging is a lot of work, and I come out of the greenhouse and do some too, as does our son (particularly if told the reason we cannot progress the DIY plans for his bedroom is because plants must go in first..).
As always we are behind with the digging. Nice idea to be all ready in advance, but we always have so much going on that no job seems to get to the top of the list until it becomes urgent, and certain house renovation projects have started to feel more urgent.
I pointed out to himself that we really needed to plant some broad beans, and he went off to estimate the space required. He counted how many went into the rows we had already planted, and how many were lurking on the patio waiting their turn. Then counted again. and announced that I have sowed not only enough for the four double rows planned, but enough for another five double rows after that! oops.
If we have a good broad bean year, and I hope we do… we could be in for a lot of beans. Still they freeze well. If we had the freezer space….
So…note to self… pay attention to how many I am planting and do not rely on what happened last year…