This is the journal of my endeavours to grow a range of fruit, veg and flowers from seed, grow organically, and my attempts to create a personal paradise with 1/2 acre of maintained gardens and 1/2 acre wild meadows. Northern Ireland's average daily high temperatures are 18 °C (64 °F) in July and 6 °C (43 °F) in January. Soil type: Clay

Monday, 4 June 2012

Veg Update (Beans, Courgette, etc)

What a busy time in the garden! The sunshine and warmth over the last two weeks has really made a difference in the garden. I've been trying to get plants hardened off and have managed to get beans, courgette, curly kale and pumpkin planted outside. Other plants (squash, peas, celery, kale, etc) are still being hardened off. I had to re-sow courgette and peas after getting a very poor success rate. The second sowing at the end of May took no time at all to germinate (now I have too many courgette plants!). Below is a little summary of what's keeping me busy.

Left and belowBean 'Dwarf Purple Queen' grown from seed. I've planted these in containers this year. Seed sown on 20 March 2012 and 8 April 2012. 
Above and below: Climbing Bean 'Cobra'. Seed sown on 20 March 2012 and 8 April 2012. I've positioned some plants in the middle of the snapdragon bed so will see how they get on.

Above and below: Runner Bean 'Scarlet Emperor' (Climbing).  This is my first year growing climbing beans. I'm watching them carefully, feeding and watering regularly so fingers cross! By accident I planted two cobra and two scarlet emperor in this area ( I only discovered this by the colour of the flowers - lilac/cobra, red/scarlet emperor).
Above and Below: Courgette 'All Green Bush'. This is a new variety I'm trying this year. Seed sown on 8 April 2012. My courgettes last year suffered from blossom rot for the first time ever. Here's hoping for a better year!
Above: Chives in flower, leek soon to flower (at the front) and potatoes Maris Peer in the far background.
Above: The tall green plant with white flowers is what happens to a radish if its left to its own devices! 
The bad news - today I noticed two of my turnips (purple top milan), sown direct outside on 20 March, are starting to form flowers. I assume this is bad. I'm not sure if this makes them inedible? They look too small to harvest.
I've also been making nettle and comfry tea / fertilizer. For more on making fertilizer  -

Copyright: All words and photos are property of Kelli's Northern Ireland Garden.


  1. I'm amazed that you have bean pods already. Mine are nowhere near ready - only just beginning to climb up their canes!
    If you look carefully at the bean plants you will see that the leaves are quite different. When you have grown them a few times you will be able to tell which is which, even without seeing any flowers.
    The flowering Turnips will be no good, I'm afraid. They will be woody - much like a Radish that has bolted.

  2. Have you tried a turnip yet? Maybe they are bigger than you think!! Your beans look great! Your chives flowering are so pretty,too.

  3. Great beans, Kelli. As for turnip - try sowing some swede now.

  4. Pretty beans Kelli! I have a question. When the leeks flower, can you still pick them to eat or are they done like onions? Mine are starting to flower too.

    1. Hi Holly, as far as I know leeks in flower aren't for eating as they'll be too bitter. However, they're very pretty.

  5. I would pull the turnips anyway. Some harvest is better than no harvest.

  6. Wow your beans are really well on!

  7. Everything looks great.. I have some Burgundy beans coming up and It's my first year I can't wait for them I see the little blooms coming and I'm hoping that nothing come to eat them..Last year I had some reg. blue lake green beans and didn't get many the white flies just kept eating the plant up and killin my leaves...My turnip leaves are huge but I see the turnips on the bottom of's the first time I ever planted reg ones make flowers too????

  8. Love those purple beans! Your veggies look awesome! Love the shot of your chives.

  9. Wow... so much happening in your garden. Your beans look great! Your chives are really lovely too.

  10. Your beans are way ahead of mine, in fact I've still got some waiting to be planted out. It looks like you'll be the first with a bean harvest this year.