To plant or wait

Need to know the best time to plant?

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Beryl
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To plant or wait

Postby Beryl » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:57 pm

My French beans in the greenhouse are getting so tall now about 9-12 inches they have their long curly bits which need supporting. The days are not too bad here on the South Coast but the nights are still chilly. Do I risk planting out or not? Such decisions.

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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:05 pm

HMM,
in theory far too early for French beans to go out, even though you are on south coast.
Are they climbing or dwarf
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby robo » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:15 pm

I lost all my young tomatoes last year by moving them to the pollytunnel to early ,I'm determined not to make the same mistake, it only takes one bad frost
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Beryl » Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:35 pm

Climbing Parsnip. Yes, I really know I should hang on and not put them out yet. For some reason this year they seem to have galloped away. I was really writing with tongue in cheek; but many thanks for your replies.

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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:02 pm

If you get to the point where you have no option but to put them out I would be inclined to put them in a circle with canes in wigwam fashion. That way you can then put decent gauge fleece around them when /if risk of frost occurs or temperature is low
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Monika » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:06 pm

I haven't even sown my dwarf or runner beans yet because in previous years I have always been in the same quandary as you, Beryl, so this time I have been really firm with myself and will be waiting for a bit. The forecast for next week doesn't look too brill either - hopefully better for you down south.
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Pawty » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:16 pm

Hi beryl, I don't live far from you and wouldn't dare putting French beans out until late May/June I'm afraid. After having lost many now I don't even start mine off under cover until early May.

Last year I sowed them straight into the ground which had ok results.

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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:51 am

Just to clarify, I agree with Monika & Pawty.
My previous suggestion was made in order to try and save what Beryl had grown so far.

A lot of us had failures with bean germination last year, as I recall it was a popular topic both on the forums here and up the allotment site.
Such failures often tempt us to make earlier sowings the next year in case of failure, then we end up with plants far too early .

Last year, after a number of failures of both Runner and French beans to germinate I ended up sowing direct to ground in early June.
I also admit to having resorted to buying some plants from local garden centre (Sheesh doing that went against the grain) in an attempt to try varieties not previously grown

Of the ones grown ourselves

French Climbing, Blue Lake, Grown many times in past. Sown in trays or modules > 15 20/5/15 + 18 4/6/15
Of those 33 only 10 Germinated and were planted on plot on 22/6/15
40 were sown direct to plot ground on 10/6/15 and germinated successfully.

Runner, St George. grown each year for a number of years. Sown in trays or modules > 36 2/5/15 + 30 20/5/15 + 26 4/6/15.
Of that total of 92, 42 failed completely, 50 were planted out on 4/6/15 and on 10/6/15 another 15 were sown direct to ground.
Last edited by Pa Snip on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby oldherbaceous » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:45 am

Dear Beryl, as you are an exceptionally experienced and brilliant gardener, you know the answer.... :)

This is something i have never tried with French Beans, but i was wondering can you pinch the leading shoot out. I often do this with Runner Bean plants, if the weather turns against them when they are ready for planting out. For runner beans, it stops them for about 2 to 3 weeks, and they do throw out more leading shoots than just the one they started with, which i find to be a good thing.
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Beryl » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:11 pm

OH you are too kind, thanks for the compliment but even us 'experienced' gardeners get caught out sometimes. I am glad I wasn't tempted to plant yesterday as there was a very white frost on my neighbour's roof this morning. I've not tried pinching out the tips but worth a try, thanks.
Usually I don't even think about sowing seed till May in the greenhouse but it has been so mild which is probably why they have romped away. Several on our site have put out their beans runners and french; those protected survived last nights frost but others didn't. One good thing there is plenty of time to put more in. My runners definitely won't be sown direct until May as I have done in previous years.

A lively debate - thanks again everyone for your comments.

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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Ricard with an H » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:10 pm

I'm going back two years Beryl, same situation as you. What I did was to plant my well grown French bean plants out but at the same time I sowed more seeds and put them in the airing cupboard. The ones I planted out got ripped up by cold wind of the sea but the the new seedlings went in the ground early June and I was cropping into late October.
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Ricard with an H » Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:01 am

I need a bit of help, even though I'm committed to waiting another few weeks a nice sunny day found me sowing broad beans and potatoes. My question is during very cold spells is it wise to water seeds and plants even if the soil looks very dry.

My thinking is that the the extra moisture will make things even colder at a time when they probably not growing.

My garlic patch looks very dry at the moment, I had proved the broad bean seeds by soaking them so they sprout.
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Beryl » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:21 pm

I only water when I either sow seeds or plant out. Seeds I water the drill well first before sowing and plants get a good puddling and then either a mulch or a covering with dry soil. Then no more except what comes from the heavens. Plants need oxygen to their roots and can even drown if watered too much. Let the roots go down and find the moisture. They really don't need it till they start to crop. I have seen so many crops fail because of over watering.

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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Ricard with an H » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:13 pm

Thanks Beryl, I've done a lot of over-watering and suffered the consequences.

I did puddle my seeds in, the only exception being the potatoes and broad beans. I assumed the potatoes would cope because they a good size and the broad beans had been soaked. I lost some bean seeds once, they just disappeared. Presumable rotted in the ground.

I'm also nervous about watering garlic because I lost some to rot the first year, I lost less the second and third years and I think that has been because I'm getting more cautious about watering.
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Re: To plant or wait

Postby Geoff » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:30 pm

I suppose Garlic is tricky. The usual advice is never let it dry out but as you say it can rot. Hand fork near it will soon tell if it is moist underneath. It likes a bit of a potash boost at this time of year so a can of Tomato food wouldn't do any harm.
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