Sunday, July 18, 2010

A new look and a new name!

Welcome to "The Dig Issue"!
I quite fancied a refresh on the old blog so I've had a play around with the look and spent about a month trying to decide on a new name. Luckily I know a few people who are very good with playing with words so I did get quite a few fun suggestions! The Dig Issue was up against some absolutely brilliant puns on gardening but it was definitely the overall winner. The runners up were:

  • A pile of crop
  • Leaf it out
  • It's plough or never
  • The place of spades
  • The root of all leaf-all
(Groan, groan!...)

I know, but seriously, the old name of "The Allotment" had to go. So obvious!
I just need to tweak BlogPress so that I can still blog from the iPhone and we're all sorted.

I'm rather pleased with the final look. I've added in all the books I read, shops I've used, blogs I follow and updated the links. It's much, much cleaner.

I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, July 05, 2010

The life of a climbing french bean

I adore beans, I grow at least one variety a year and they are usually pretty good. They are easy to plant and they grow really fast. Birds will destroy the young shots at the first chance they get so netting is pretty crucial. Once the climbing poles are in place it can be tricky to put netting over the young plants but it's worth it if you can.

I lost about 10 plants to birds this year and I just had to keep replanting. Probably a bit of a mistake to do that as I eventually had about 5 plants growing from each pole! Very heavy! I did get loads of beans this year tho - too many! I also had a healthy number of ladybirds laying their eggs and munching on blackfly which kept the infestation down without having to use soapy water on the leaves.

Once the plants have produced enough beans they die down and I tend to leave a few hardy pods to dry up and produce bean seeds for the following year. Make sure your beans are not an F1 hybrid variety though else you won't be able to plant anything!

Hoping to try bolotti beans next year.

F1 HybridsCrossing two genetically different plants produces a hybrid seed (plant) by means of controlled pollination. To produce consistent F1 hybrids, the original cross must be repeated each season. As in the original cross, in plants this is usually done through controlled hand-pollination, and explains why F1 seeds can often be expensive. F1 hybrids can also occur naturally, a prime example being peppermint, which is not a species evolved by cladogenesis or gradual change from a single ancestor, but a sterile stereotyped hybrid of watermint and spearmint. Unable to produce seeds, it propagates through the vining spread of its own root system. Source: Wikipedia