Try planting beans

Plant two bean seeds close together

Beans are a very rewarding crop and relatively easy to grow. I love them because they don’t take up much space but within a few weeks you can harvest an abundance of crisp, flavoursome beans. Soak seeds overnight to increase the speed of germination. Just put the seeds you want to plant into a bowl and cover with water. The next morning, water the soil where you are going to put the beans and plant seeds two at a time pushing them about 4cm into the soil. I always plant two because often one will not grow. Cover with soil but don’t water as the soil and the seeds are already wet. If you don’t soak the seeds then you will need to water. Leave about 20cm between plants if they are dwarf forms, or 15cm if they are climbers.

 

 

 

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Winter savory for soups and stews

The white flowers of winter savory are very attractive to bees.

The white flowers and savory, spicy leaves make this a delightful herb in the garden.

Little known and used winter savory Satureja montana comes into its own in winter. As the days draw in and cold nights become more frequent, its warm spicy fragrance and taste enhances the flavour of slow cooked soups and stews. It grows as a small woody shrub with tiny dark green, opposite leaves and white flowers that grow in the leaf axils towards the ends of the somewhat sprawling branches. There is also a prostrate variety that has coarser leaves, larger white flowers and is much lower growing, but is otherwise similar. Other varieties have pink flowers. It is easily grown from seed or cuttings, or by detaching rooted pieces and replanting. This is best done in spring, but is usually also successful in autumn. Keep the plants neat by trimming back after flowering. Winter savory is in the same family (Lamiaceae) as thyme and rosemary and likes similar growing conditions. In other words a well-drained sandy loam soil and an open, sunny position. But I have found them to be tough little plants that thrive in a variety of positions as long as they do not stay wet for long periods. Read more

  • All words and images © Copyright Penny Woodward 2017.
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