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Garden Planning and Review III

January 27, 2010

Peas grown last year include sugar snap, mammoth melting sugar, and Thomas Laxton. The garden fairy likes to pick these and eat them right out in the garden. In the future, I’ll grow all varieties with edible pods and label them better. I used a fine permanent marker on popsicle sticks and they didn’t hold up to weathering. Does anyone ever remember what was planted where?


Beans grown last year included sequoia (purple), contender garden beans, fordhook 242 limas, dragon tongue, and cowpeas. The cowpeas were an afterthought and grown with other plants to add nitrogen to the soil.

cowpeas and coneflower

The peas took a while to get started. I read something about planting them early and not filling in the planting holes. The idea was that the late snow and rain would fill in the holes and aid germination. Some peas sprouted, but the method was not very successful. I had much better results with a later planting of peas that were presprouted indoors. Several gardeners reported prolonged, abundant harvests of peas due to the abnormally cool, wet weather. I hadn’t planned for that, so my peas went to seed while I was on vacation.

sequoia beans

The beans didn’t do well, at all. I started a few of the purple and green beans in peat pots. They were happy when I planted them, but were quickly devoured by slugs or earwigs or both. I also planted seeds directly into the garden, which were also devoured. The beans grew along the back edge of the garden, closest to a row of lilacs and a rock pile that harbors the insects. Mulch left in the garden from the previous year also made great housing for the pests. I did what I could to get rid of them without poisons. I armed myself with a spray bottle, loaded with soapy water, and hunted earwigs. Hundreds of them met their demise at my hand, and still, there were more.

dragon tongue

I planted the dragon tongue beans amidst the corn. This was in a newly prepared bed, away from the pests. These beans did much better. I picked them young and fresh and steamed them. The family didn’t care much for the waxy beans. They’re okay once in a while, but not as often as the green and purple beans, which didn’t produce as much.

dragon tongue beans

Leftover from last year, I’ll be planting mammoth melting sugar and super sugar snap peas. I didn’t order any new peas, though there is a blue podded pea on my wish list from Baker Creek Seeds. We’ll see. Beans leftover from last year include dragon tongue, sequoia (purple), contender garden bean (green), and fordhook 242 lima. New beans on order are purple trionfo violetto, vermont cranberry, and speckled calico lima. I also have some cowpeas from last year’s plants. I don’t care much for the growth habits of the bush varieties. The purple sequoia beans are small and decorative, perhaps good for containers. In the garden, I’ll try to stick to pole varieties, for now anyway.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 2:51 pm

    The only way I’ve found to keep track of what is planted where is make a drawing of the garden, and write down what I’ve planted where on it. Labels in the garden always, a) fade, b) get pulled up or lost and c) look ugly.

  2. January 27, 2010 6:23 pm

    I am wondering why your beans didn’t do well. Do you plant marigolds, nasturtiums, calendula near them to chase away pests? I never tried dragon tongue beans. I like the name! As you, I like the pole vatiety more than bush.

  3. January 27, 2010 7:41 pm

    I love the Dragon Tongue Beans. My son would love to grow some of those. The beans at Double S Farms (my mother’s home) are climbing and have pretty white flowers – I don’t know what variety they are…I need to find out.

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