Mid-March planting, part 3

Fancy legume edition.

So next to the bed that has the new cucumber jungle gym, is a really sad one.

Oof. Besides the roots of long gone collards it is just chock full of weeds.

And what appears to be a stray borage, we’ll save that for later.

Not to mention a ton of oxalis tubers- got to grab all of these you can now, or you will suffer later.

A small oxalis tangent. Sometimes folks come into work asking about how to get rid of these. Is there a special spray? Organic preferred of course. Or is there a special tool?

Well I’m gonna be brutally honest. You got to pull those suckers by hand. Oxalis can regrow from even a fragment of it’s taproot and you just have to pull pull pull.

Which is what I did today!

Once the bed was clear, I dumped what was left of the bag of loam builder into the mix.

Now- I may have used more than was strictly needed, and I hope this doesn’t bite me in the butt later. I kept debating myself- compost or loam? I erred on the side of loam because of how utterly messed up the soil in the bed was.

But it might be a tad too much chicken manure for…

Scarlet. Runner. Beans.

I have always wanted to grow these- but for a variety of reasons never went for them. As a kid in my middle school garden down in San Mateo County we had some gorgeous examples of these, and I can’t wait.

But these two four inch pots suffer from the same problem as the cucumber. There are three plants in each pot, in very close proximity.

I couldn’t tease apart the cukes, will I have any luck with these?


I teased apart my six plants and got to planting.

Lucky for me I had three old bean trellises just waiting to be used again.


The idea is that each bean gets a side.

One minor problem- these are not the tallest of trellises, and scarlet runner beans can get enormous and perennial.

I… will cross that bridge when I come to it!

Now I have to wash my hands very well (as we all should be doing!) because I smell like chicken shit.

This is why gardeners know how to wash their hands the best!

Oh god my pants smell terrible.



5 thoughts on “Mid-March planting, part 3

  1. Don’t take this the wrong way.
    Beans are too easy to grow from seed to buy them as seedlings. (At last you got three for the price of one, or six for the price of two.)
    Scarlet runner beans get big, so will make a big tangled mess at the top of the trellises, or maybe reach for the fence. It is not a problem, and you are probably already aware, but I felt compelled to inform you just in case.
    Now, that fence in the background. If you put small nails part way into the runners (2X4s) on the fence, and then extend twine in a zig-zag pattern up and down between the nails of the upper and lower runners, you get a nice ‘trellis’ for beans. I like to put the nails in a very even and uniform pattern because I like uniformity, but beans are not so discriminating. Then a pair of bean seeds can be sown at the bottom zigs (or zags . . . whichever is on the bottom). With a bit of guidance to find the zig (or zag) the beans will be pleased to cover the fence. Of course, the fence is no taller than the trellises, but you can figure out what to do when the vines get too big. If you sow only a pair of seed, you might want to add a seed for those that fail to germinate, or sow three seeds, and then remove the weakest where all three germinate. Anyway, if they are paired, each pair can go in the two different directions of the zig (or zag). String might need to be replaced annually, but the same nails can stay. Because beans do not need good soil, they can be plugged directly into the soil at the base of the fence without amendment, although it would be good to remove weeds. You can alternate growing beans and cucumbers from year to year on the fence for crop rotation. The advantage to how you are growing them in the bed is that such richly amended medium will allow you to grow beans in the same bed next year if you want to.

    1. I got these on a huge whim the last day I was at work when I realized how long I might have to self-quarantine to protect my high-risk parents. I agree completely! Beans from seed! The only reason I got these is knowing they perrenialize I figured if they do I could hack them back in winter. But this was all whim and all gerry-rigged so I like your idea of extending my trellis to the fence for extra space!

      1. Oh, I know ‘whim’. That is how I got my hyacinth beans. They were dying back at a clients garden, so I took a few with no idea of what to do with them! I don’t even like them. They just look pretty.

        1. Seriously. I’ve never eaten a scarlet runner bean in my life! But when I was a kid our middle school garden had some gorgeous ones with lovely red flowers and it really made an impression. And then I read the label on the 4” pots and I figure I’m gonna be isolating soon… what the heck right?

          1. I was briefly pleased when I read that there are white scarlet runner beans, as well as pink. Then, I realized that they would look rather silly and mundane in white. After all these years of not growing them, I am still tempted. They really are rad.

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