Straight 'N' Narrow Beans, Giant Fordhook Chard, & Way Too Much Bare Dirt
Realization Of The Day:
I forgot to make a note of what kind of beans I re-planted here and when I planted them. But it doesn't seem to matter, as they appear to be doing a no-show like the three out of four rows from the first planting.
This has not been a good year for beans in my garden. And last year was pretty pitiful, too. Surprising since this is one of the few crops I've been able to totally depend on doing well year after year--no matter what variety I plant and even when I plant them. They are easy to grow, not fussy at all, can withstand our hot and humid summers without complaining, and require practically no attention other than watering. Usually by this time I am already happily tossing bags of blanched and sealed beans (I love my FoodSaver) into the freezer to be enjoyed all winter long.
I think there are several reasons for the bummer bean crop so far. The soil can't be one of them, though, as I did get that single row of Straight 'N' Narrows to come up. And I've successfully grown beans in nearly all of my raised beds at one time or another (rotate! rotate! rotate!) even though I think the soil is a little different in each of them.
First of all, some of the beans I planted were a few years old, though this has never been a problem before. (Where oh where are all the 2006 packets of beans I'm pretty sure I bought?)
Secondly, we have about a zillion moles living on the farm with us, and I think I spotted mole tunnels going right along my rows of planted beans the other day. I know that moles can paddle their way through 160 feet of dirt in one night, but I have no idea what they eat. My dried and buried beans?
Above ground, this poor plot has also been visited more than once by at least one bean munching thief, though the plants have come back nicely. It was most likely a deer or rabbit (I've seen both near the garden), and I have also found some sort of hoof/paw prints running across the bed on more than one morning. Then there is the big scratched out area you can see in the photo. I'm blaming one of the cats on that.
Who knows, though. A lot of stuff goes on in the garden when I am not looking. At least I have the one row of Straight 'N' Narrow, and I noticed flowers on it just a little while ago. I love these thin, sweet filet beans, and on my way from the garden to the computer, I happened upon the rest of the 2006 packet of them (for some reason I have little bundles of seed packets in about 16 places around the house this year). Why I didn't plant them when I planted the other row back in April I have no idea. Maybe I wanted to use up the old ones first. Even I can't figure out how my mind works half the time. Must be all the fresh air.