Broad-Beans-141117It’s time to plant out our broad bean plants in the Kitchen Garden this week.  We sowed the beans a few weeks ago in rootrainers in the greenhouse, as sowing direct into the soil tends to result in well fed mice and very few plants!  Once the beans plants were a good size, they were moved to the cold frame to harden off and are now ready for life outside.  They will be given a fleece cover for the winter months to protect them from birds and the worst of the winter winds and cold.  We will make another sowing in the spring and these will be planted next to their winter counterparts.  The two sowings usually provide us with a longer cropping period.

Inside the greenhouse we will be potting on the cuttings we took from the ornamental gardens back in late September.  We took cuttings from salvias, asters, marguerite daisies and sedums to increase the stock of some of our favourite plants around the gardens.  These were popped in an unheated propagator in the greenhouse and are now a good size with roots appearing from the base of the pots.  Once potted on they will be overwintered in the greenhouse and will hopefully be a good size and ready to be planted out next summer.

The autumn weather, despite being cold, has been kind to us so far with very few wet days.  We are making the most of the dry conditions to tend to the soil and add manure or compost mulches to prepare it for next spring.  When the weather finally breaks it will be time to turn our attention to maintenance jobs such as cleaning pots, tools and tidying and restocking the potting shed.  As I write this, the winds have picked up and it is raining leaves, which will keep us busy tidying in the days ahead.