Posts Tagged cardboard tubes

Growing our runner beans

We always start our runner beans off in the cardboard tubes that are the inside of a toilet roll or kitchen roll.  This means you don’t have to disturb the roots when planting out.  Not having a greenhouse yet I started mine off on the windowsill of the lounge, where they got the afternoon sunshine. This is what they looked like 2 weeks ago when the first beans started sprouting.

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It wasn’t long before we saw more growth:-

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By the time a week had passed they were all growing strongly:-

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It’s been gloriously sunny all week here, so I’ve not wanted to plant them out in the heat of the day.  We waited until Thursday evening when the sun had gone down and planted into the beds.  This year we are trying the “no dig” approach, so the ground is covered with cardboard to stop the weeds growing through, and we just made a hole big enough for each tube by each cane.

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Now we have to wait for them to climb the poles and to produce some beans.  We always do well with beans, they are easy to grow and pretty fast too, so with the warm weather we have been having we should see some results before too long.  Let’s hope the cardboard does the trick with the weeds.  It will eventually break down, but should last the season.

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Beat the weather gardening, or sowing seeds indoors when its raining outside and you don’t have a greenhouse!!

Like most of the UK we have been experiencing a lot of rain in the past 2 weeks.  In fact we have had 2 inches of rain in the last couple of days, as well as hail.  Down by the hens it is just mud, it is so wet.  The hens don’t seem to mind too much, they still spuddle around in the puddles and even drink from them.  They do look a bit bedraggled but are still producing eggs,  – we got 13 eggs from 14 hens today, so not too bad.However, for us humans day time rain, although needed as many parts of the UK have drought conditions and hose pipe bans, is just a nuisance as it stops us from getting on with the outdoor work that we want to do.  Unfortunately I don’t have a green house yet, so getting seeds started means either sowing direct into the ground, and it is just too cold at the moment, or sewing indoors.

For ages now we have been collecting the cardboard inners of toilet rolls or kitchen rolls.  The toilet roll inners are just the right size for me to start off seeds in, but the kitchen roll inners I have to cut into 2, hence they are different heights.  I find an old roasting dish and fill each  cardboard tube with compost and then sow one seed into each tube, and put a little more compost on top.  In this way I have sowed Courgette, Sweet Corn, Squash (Petty Pan) and Runner Bean seeds.  The runner beans I put 2 seeds into each tube.  Then I water them.  So here they are:

My seeds in cardboard tubes

Then I moved them onto our south facing window sill in the dining room. You can even see our wedding photo on the window sill, which we still keep there, although we have been married for coming up 18 years now!!

Seeds on the window sill

The beauty of  this method is that without a greenhouse I can still bring on seeds indoors.  When they have germinated and sprouted and the weather is a bit warmer, I will plant the cardboard tubes into the ground, thus not disturbing the roots, and then the plants will grow on from there. So all in all a good afternoon’s work, and all tidied up before our B&B guests get back here. visit us at www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

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