A mistake in the date of an appointment meant I had a free morning to come down to the plot. I brought some broad bean plants that needed planting out after growing on in the greenhouse and hardened off in the frame.
Unfortunately the patch needed digging first. I had covered a strip with some corrugated plastic I have for cloches to warm the earth so I didn't want to move the soil around too much. However my back won't cope with using an ordinary spade and my Backsaver spade requires I start with a trench.
Having removed a barrowload of soil for the trench, it took only a short time to dig the patch and my back was not strained.
Backsaver tools are extremely expensive but they do 'what's on the tin'. (Mine is an old pre-Backsaver label version given to me many years ago and now proving its worth!)
I was pleased that there was so little bindweed root in three patch, the biggest infestation being next to, and coming from under, the path. I was tempted to lift a slab to get at the source but being pressed for time decided to leave it until later. What roots I found went into the top of my incinerator to be dealt with another time.
I then turned to the next most expensive tool in my collection, the Wolf Garten hoe/cultivator purchased some time ago with a birthday present Stewarts voucher. On a long handle it is excellent at breaking down soil into a fine filth and did a grand job on the lumpy patch. I only worked on half the strip, leaving the rest to break down naturally, as I only need a strip to plant the beans so the difference is clear in the photo.
I then laid out boards along the strip and fetched the broad bean plants. I had sown 30 seeds in toilet roll tubes but only got 13 plants so I spaced them out along the row leaving quite a space between each and with extra compost from the blind tubes alongside.A new sowing of broad beans is already sprouting in the greenhouse at home.
Once the beans were all planted I fetched a polythene tunnel cloche from the shed to protect the young plants from the elements until they get established.
That done I turned to my part weeded onions and used the hoe to cut through the roots before hand weeding. I weeded one more row, just 3 more to go!
I then looked to harvesting. I already had Brussels waiting at home but a neighbour came by and I offered him some, at which he produced a lovely jar of honey he got from working with a friend. An excellent trade! I then dug up a few leeks and pulled some more forced rhubarb to take home.