Sunday, 27 January 2013

Beans and Onions

I am determined to grow as much as I can of our own food - but it is a learning experience.  Some grow well one year - but not another - and only sometimes can I work out why.
Onions has been my nemesis this year.  I sowed heaps in punnets but some were just too late.  Hence I have some great onions...
and some not very good at all...
Next year I'll plant them all earlier as I have since learnt that onions need to have well grown leaves before the longest day - after that they concentrate on bulking up the bulb.  They are day-length sensitive plants.

Over the last few years I have been experimenting with beans for drying - kidney and pinto - and this year looks good!
I planted them originally as ordinary eating dried beans from 'Piko Wholefoods' in Christchurch and this is the third year of replanting.  I planted these last October (after the risk of frosts) and they have grown well since then.  They are podding up now and I anticipate picking dried beans before April.  Both Red Kidney beans and Pinto beans are bush beans.  We live in Canterbury, NZ, and are about 43 degrees south and probably have a climate similar to central France.

Update in April:  Started harvesting beans in mid February.  All the red kidney and pinto harvested within the month.  The black beans were slightly later - but had been planted a little later as well.  Great yields - am very pleased.

I have also tried growing Black Beans (left) and Chickpeas (right).  The beans look promising, while I am a bit short on pods on the chickpeas - but there are still many flowers on them.
April Update: Harvested a bit late but got a good amount of chickpeas - if I had been more prompt I would have saved many more from small animals.
Here is a view of my beans alternating between rows of 'Agria' Potatoes - the very best! 
We are lucky enough to have access to extra potatoes direct from the paddock of a local grower.  So I think we'll have plenty this year!

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