Sow some bean seeds and it's not hard to see where the story of Jack and the Beanstalk came from. From just barely breaking the soil at 7 in the morning, my bean shoots were two inches high by mid-afternoon.
Here's where the beans will be climbing. I've sown 'Blue Lake' climber beans around the base of this cute obelisk of willow.
3pm Monday and it's off and racing skywards. I'm not all that keen for it to poke through the clouds and find sleeping giants. Just a nice crop of tender green beans in summer will do me fine.
Wednesday morning and they're all up. The little greeny-blue blobs on the ground are snail pellets. We got about 10mm of rain yesterday and I knew snails and slugs would head straight for these beans that night, so I spread around a few pellets. This morning I found five dead snails and three dead slugs all around the baby bean shoots. One bean shoot was munched to the ground but all the rest survived. The snail pellets are a new type based on iron, and the makers say they aren't poisonous to native lizards or birds, or to pets. At least they work just as well as the dodgy old super-poisonous pellets.
And so, for this bean-growing newbie, everything is off to a good start and growing quite nicely. The spectacular growth of the beans is great fun to witness. I'm becoming increasingly addicted to growing everything from seed. Not only is it much cheaper, but seed sprouting is more fun to see happening – it's just so much closer to nature. Besides, through the various seed catalogues you have access to a huge array of different vegie varieties, so it's just more interesting all-round. Sure, 'Blue Lake' beans are hardly a rarity, but everyone seems to say they have really outstanding flavour, and that's why I am growing all my own vegies and herbs – for the fresh, home-grown flavour.