The Emperor strikes back!

The Emperor strikes back!

There is a mystery in my vegetable garden that is making me particularly grumpy. I grow my plants from seed and the Scarlet Emperor runner beans are always very productive, providing they have plenty of water.

Each autumn we dig out a trench in different areas of the garden and fill it with well-rotted cow manure then cover it over with the soil. The corners of the trench are marked with canes so I know where the manure is and can plant the beans so their roots reach down into it to feed.

It was all yellow

There is a framework of crossed over canes, tied together at the top with lateral canes to provide stability in the wind. So far so good. I planted out 36 plants four weeks ago and they all looked splendid and quite quickly started to twist round their supports.

At the weekend, Mrs GG came in with the bad news that eight of the plants had gone yellow and were wilting. I pulled up a couple and inspected the roots that hadn’t really started to grow out of the shape from the 3” pots in which they were grown.


I have absolutely no idea what has caused this but it’s a real nuisance and very disappointing. Happily, I have located some replacement plants which are now growing in their own 3” pots.

I have given the remaining beans a seaweed extract liquid feed from ‘envii’ and they look strong. As I have to put the replacement beans in the same spot where the previous occupants kicked the bucket, it will be interesting to see whether they thrive or go the same way as their predecessors. Watch this space.

Where there’s muck, there’s brassica

One bit of good news is that all the brassica plants seem to be thriving, rather indicating that, after almost 30 years, the club root disease has died out.

Fingers crossed. If it comes back I’ll be massively grumpy!