Thursday, July 21, 2016

My Flower Garden

I am so enjoying my beans this year. They are my flower garden. There are quite a few varieties that I am trying. Not sure it is a fair trial though. There is a huge difference in the garden between where I've gardened before and new or newer ground. The old ground I have worked hard on improving and it really shows it. The previous owners of the place had completely depleted the soil. On the new ground the plants are not doing well but decidedly not as well as the area with the most amount of mulch added last winter (the old garden).
These curled leafed beans are on the newer ground but not newest ground. Every single time I plant beans, potatoes, and tomatoes on  new ground at this location the leaves curl and they look a bit sickly.

The next year all is well ---strange don't you think? This is beans grown where beans were grown before. Why would I do that? I am saying I put in a LOT of beans and that meant I needed LOTS of area. That also means I cut down drastically on the amount of corn I'm growing. It just has not done well. I'm trying a new variety grown in a new way. Just a small patch. But back to the beans. Most are dried bean varieties that I put in. This will be my third year of experimentation here and I will narrow the varieties wa.....y down next year. Next year I have a few fresh bean varieties I want to try. Nothing I have not grown before just a couple kinds I have not grown here. One is my grandpa's wax bean and the other a purple bean. There will be only small patches of those since we can only eat so many fresh beans.
Most of the bean flowers are white.
Contender beans have a purple flower.
This new variety bean variety belongs in a flower garden. Sorry can't remember this kind. I will have to look it up. I think it is a bean you can after the bean swells in the pod but before it dries. I put one of those in. Like I said I have a number of varieties I'm trying. Aren't the flowers gorgeous and there are in a huge profusion of them. These beans have me really excited to try. I hope there are beans for all those flowers.
Beans are simply beans I have discovered through researching. I was frustrated that the weather here often does not allow beans to dry in the garden so I spent hours studying trying to decided what I should grow. I consulted a gentlemen at Johnny's Seed company. He could not help me much. But just when I thought I would give up I discovered that varieties of beans simply stand out in one category or another. Fresh beans simply taste best when eaten fresh. They have a better texture and flavor. I would agree as my Contenders are the best thing I have ever canned and the best eaten fresh, and the best for growing where I live. They just lack the flavor I'm after in a dried bean.They can be used in a four bean soup of something though so they are not ruled out as a dried bean.
Dried beans have the best flavor dried. They also don't require canning but can be canned in the swollen pod stage. That really had me excited since it might mean I won't completely have wasted my time growing them some years when frost comes early. Theory and reality may say different, we shall see. Last summer we had a frost about the 23 of August killing most of the garden. That was rare but the beginning of September is not unusual so dried beans are a iffy project anyway.  
As for these scarlet flowered beans I think they are the ones best when just swollen in the pod and canned or eaten at this stage.  A stage that does not bode well for fresh beans. There you have it. After experimenting a little in our former home location and now here I think I am about done. About done experimenting. I will keep growing my favorites and save the best ones for growing the next year thereby using Mother Natures survival of the fittest to change the variety to best suit our climate.  
It is time to give the ground space up to an experiment with another crop. Not that I am not experimenting a little already. For instance I am trying white beets. Red beets have failed three times here. I need to adjust the soil more. The white beets are doing quite well and have needed very little attention. They are even in the newest section of the garden. Impressive so far. I'm anxious to taste them.
The new tomato variety is not impressing me. The plants have lots and lots of blossoms but few tomatoes. They say they are for the far north but nothing has out produced my Siberia tomatoes. I am about to give up trying anything new there as far as tomatoes go.
Now you have seen a bit of my flower garden.

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