Arctic Beans

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Lovely lovely claytonia

So proud: my broad beans are so excited to actually be in the soil now, several months after they were supposed to be there, that they have (so far) shrugged off the negative temperatures and freezing rain. Good job, guys! I took the fleece off after a couple of days last week, as the weight of the rain was squashing them and making them grow sideways; I think it probably helped them survive the first night, and hopefully they’ll keep going through this frozen week too.

I have to take my hat off to the tunnel salads too: you expect the mustards to be OK through the winter, and grow well at the first sign of any sun/light; but the claytonia (winter purslane, see picture) looks amazing. It’s also nice to have a juicy and non-spicy leaf in the salad bags (high in Omega oils too apparently); not to mention a relief to have leaves that aren’t brassicas growing in the tunnels, so easier to fit in the rotation. Typically, the tunnel that has grown the best over the last week is the one that I’ve ear-marked to drill the leeks into at some point this month: it’s a perennial problem – when do you rip out productive salad, and drill something else? You don’t want to leave it too late, or the next crop will be behind, as will anything else which is going in after that one; yet if you leave it just one more week or so, you get one more cut of salad…? At least I only need half a tunnel for the leeks, the brassica half which will start going to seed soon anyway; at the moment I’m thinking of pulling it out next Monday – but that might be put back…

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One thought on “Arctic Beans

  1. I agree, Claytonia’s great! Mine has been exposed to the elements since last September and it is still growing (or at least the couple of warm days last week got it moving!)

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