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Single dowel stick - not steady enough

Single dowel stick – not steady enough

Single dowel stick - not steady enough

Double dowel stick - perfect solution

White small buckets to grow seeds in

Transplanted in shelter later

The 30 broad beans seeds I’ve received recently from Wendy, have germinated and started to appear one by one through the sawdust mulch.

I was worried that the grasshoppers I saw this morning will chomp down my green babies as well as the strong wind blowing today will dry the seedlings out and I will loose the whole lot of broad beans today.

So I suddenly had an idea and see what I came up with as a protector for my seedlings!
I’ve cut the very thinnest dowel stick into pencil lengths (check first that it will fit from the inside top of the bottle to the base of the little white bucket) and made five sticks from one length of dowel and another one from a left over short piece of dowel. These I’ve pushed next to the seedling and placed a see-through plastic, used honey bottle over it to protect it till it has grown strong enough.

I’ve tried using only one stick to keep the bottle upright, but due to the strong wind, I’ve decided to use the two sticks to keep the bottle stable and on top of the bucket, come wind or high water!

After coming back from a beautiful sunny day spent in the Natal Midlands and also at the Dovehouse Organics Farm, where I bought a fresh, free-range chicken as well as other organic vegetables to make a lovely chicken broth soup tonight with my home-grown mushrooms, I’ve checked on my little green babies and noticed that the bottles are still intact and the babies have grown somewhat.
Suddenly all the other broad beans came through the mulch as well, and all now need the same protection as the other three babies. So tomorrow I have to go and search for empty honey bottles or cut-off cooldrink top sections to do the same duty as these bottles do.

Comments for

Transplanted 26 Broad Beans today
by: Natalie Rowles

I’ve transplanted the 26 larger broad bean plants inside the long sweet potato bed as the sweet potatoes will still take 4 months or so before reaching a reasonable size – leaving enough space to plant these broad beans next to the old sweet potato vines. The four smaller broad bean plants are still standing in full sunlight, growing bigger every day for later transplanting them next to these bigger ones. So all 30 seeds Wendy gave me a few weeks ago, have germinated into strong and healthy plants.
The heavy wind we experienced today has forced me to do the transplanting of these plants into the shelter which is still struggling with a hour or so of sunlight, so hope these plants will survive there and that the shelter will soon be bathed in full sunlight again! These plants’ roots came through the base of the white bucket and were starting to grow into the lawn where I kept them to receive the most sun in my back yard and the time was ready for transplanting them all.

Thanks for picking the b.b. when young!
by: Natalie Rowles

Hi Wendy
Thanks for the tip about picking the broad beans at a young stage. I’m looking forward eating my first fresh broad beans’ meal in my life! Something new.

Out of the 30 seeds, 26 have germinated and growing well, and the ones in the “hot-house” are growing so fast. I’ve covered the others with baskets to stop the hadedahs pulling the new plants out, till I can go to the shops and look for covers for them as well.

Broad bean tip
by: Wendy

Hi Natalie

I am so glad your broad beans are germinating well and I love your little hot house tip!

We love eating broad beans each late winter early spring and there are so many delicious meals you can make with them.

The trick is to catch them when they are big enough but not too old as they get quite starchy and bitter at the end of their growing season.

These are the ones that we keep for the next years seeds.

Bottles helped to recycle moisture in bucket
by: Natalie Rowles

This morning early I had a look at my green babies and were surprised at the doubling of growth taken place overnight! When I lifted up the one bottle, I noticed drops of water dropping off from the top of the inside of the bottle. All the other bottles showed a layer of moisture inside the tops too. So these bottles are trapping moisture from the little white bucket’s damp composting soil and by evaporation, trapping it inside, recycling it back to water the green babies again!
What a simple but very effective way of saving water and keeping your seedling free from wind damage and insect destruction too by using this method of mine.

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Updated: September 1, 2013 — 11:11 pm

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