Weekly Kitchen Garden Blog - planting out Broad Beans and Shallots
Here at Stephanie’s Kitchen Garden this week we will be planting out our broad bean plants and our shallots. These have spent the past week in the cold frame acclimatising to the weather and are now ready to be planted in their final growing space. The ground has already been dug over and fertilised with fish, blood and bone.
The shallots will be left uncovered, but the broad beans will need some protection from hungry pigeons and birds. They will be planted alongside the overwintering broad beans we planted out back in the autumn.
Each plant will be staked and then the whole crop will be covered with fleece. We built a framework from slot and lock and drape the fleece over it, securing it in the ground with tri-pegs. When the plants are bigger, the fleece and frame will be removed and a chicken wire fence will be erected around the crop for the rest of its life.
This week we will be harvesting the last of our leeks. We still have plenty of these left and they have certainly kept us going through the traditional ‘hungry gap’. However, with the weather warming up and the days lengthening, the remaining plants will soon start to grow ready to flower, rendering them inedible. Time to stock up on leek soup in the freezer! If you can bear to leave some leek plants in the ground they produce the most amazing scented flowers later in the year that the bees adore.
We will also be ordering our Nemaslug and Grow Your Own nematodes. By the end of the month the temperatures may well be high enough to apply our first dose of nematodes to the soil. Its a good idea to get your order in early to make sure your pest control arrives before the slugs do!
We are still harvesting winter salads – we have some gorgeously peppery mustard greens and mizuna just ready for picking!