Thursday, 21 November 2013

The pulse of the pulse

With such a new patch, I have deliberately tried to grow lots of pulses. As well as harvesting them for food I am growing them for their ability to provide fertility thru their nitrogen fixing properties.

Today's pick of pulses (loads of broad beans and some snow peas) came in cradled in my home-made paisley frock! I so often forget to grab the basket when I hit Fortress Wallaby, mostly because I intend to go for a stroll rather than pick!

The broad bean patch is now looking very tatty - soon I will turn  the de-beaned plants into the soil and let it  stew a for a bit while I think of what to plant in the nitrogen richer spot.

I took a slightly different approach with the spent sugar snaps. When they had finished producing I cut the plants off at ground level leaving the nitrogen fixing nodules on the roots in the ground and then put the contents of a compost bin on top.

Note the be-sandled toes of the peasant! Something pulsey will go in here soon or maybe cucumbers?

I used the tops of the sugar snaps as a mulch for the tomatoes.

Other pulses I have in are some borlotti.

They are at two different stages of development - some of the plants got knocked over in a very late frost and the younger ones are from me re-planting the spaces left behind by the frosted-off plants.

I also have some climbing  'Purple King' in which seem to be doing very well.  I am enjoying the purple stems very much.

 In front of them are some 'Hawkesbury Wonder' bush beans which were also knocked around by that same late frost and so the gaps in the bed...more have gone in.

I am picking a small crop of snow peas right now ( as you saw above).

They wont go for much longer - as the heat creeps up the plants fade.

I also have in a row of 'Kentucky Wonder' - thanks Nina.

These too would have been more advanced except that late October frost did all of the Wonders from Kentucky in! Well, at least these little wonders are looking quite healthy!

What pulses do you have in... what should I grow that I am not?


  1. You seem to have a lot of legumey bases covered! I'm trying snake beans this year, amongst the corn.

    1. OOh, snake beans! Nice idea, they get fabulously long don't they? And a great choice for amongst the corn! That's something I've got to get going - the beans in the corn thing. Look forward to hearing how they go.

  2. I just sowed some broadbeans (favas) a couple days ago and my sugarsnap peas just started to produce and there's a very late planting of snowpeas going. Do you grow any shelling or dry beans? I've been experimenting with Cicerchia, aka Chickling Vetch, but I've not had a lot of success, I'm not sure when to grow them, I thought they would prefer cool weather but now I think they may prefer warm weather. I also want to try chickpeas one of these days.

    1. I've got borlotti in which I grow to dry... but I really should try some others as I do really like beany dishes over winter. Thanks for prompting me on them. Love the sound of Chickling Vetch!

  3. I've but in some 'Majestic' Butter Beans, Kentucky Wonder (from Nina), some Lazy Housewife and I think some Purple King. All are up and the climbers are climbing but none have purple stems but then I don't remember my purple kings having purple stems last year either. Perhaps I got the boring version (either that or my memory is fading really badly....)

    1. Butter beans, that's what I need! I did have a whole lot of 'Sex on Strings' yellow bush beans but all of them were hit by the October frost - that's why the 'Hawkesbury Wonder' went in. Oh shame about the lack of purple stems, they are so pretty I think and the leaves seem darker than the other beans too.

  4. Your legumes are looking fabulous. I also have broad beans, but mine just self seed and as I don't really love them I don't specifically sow them and just have whatever comes up on its own. I have climbing beans Purple King, Blue Lake, Rattlesnake and Kentucky Wonder, bush beans Polo, Butter Bean and Valentine, and the storing beans Borlotti and Yin Yang beans.

    1. That's it I need butter beans and more drying beans... I can feel a visit to the nursery of a flick thru the catalogues coming on.

      I haver learnt to love the Broad Bean. It was one particular dish that did it for me. When I lived in the big smoke I used to go to a little restaurant in Newtown that had a tapas style menu. One of my favourites was a steamed broad bean dish with the outer skins slit. The beans were young and tasty especially when drizzled with good olive oil, black pepper and shaved parmesan. It was eaten with the fingers, sucking the inner bean out. Yum. We've been eating them that way at home as a tasty starter.



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