I like to grow overwintering broad beans in a greenhouse or a polytunnel as I find that in a very cold and damp winter young plants outside are prone to rot.   I sow broad bean seeds into loo rolls filled with used compost towards the end of October.  Once the seedlings emerge after three or four weeks I plant them out in double rows 20cms apart.  Keep moist but do not overwater.  They will continue to grow slowly through the cold winter months and by early March the first flower buds will begin to show, followed by clusters of flowers which are a magnate for bees foraging for nectar in early spring (leave the polytunnel doors open to let them in).  No loo rolls?  Then just sow directly in the ground, 2 seeds together 2.5cms deep in a double row s0cms x 20cms apart.  When the seedlings emerge thin out the weakest plant at each station.  With luck I am harvesting the first young beans in early May.


Seed Detective Twitter

Sometimes I simply let plants drop their seed where they will and see what happens. This parade of poppies is the result of pure neglect!! They delight every year. How they arrived I know not but I am mighty glad they have made the path around the house home


Saving seed of the leek Autumn Late Giant. It’s a commercial variety and I harvest through to early April. Kept back a dozen plants for seed. Soon the bees will be all over the attractive flowers and I will collect seed in the autumn

I love saving carrot seed. These @HeritageSeedsUK Red Elephant are an ex-commercial Australian variety. Such lovely flowers too


Time to lift my Omani garlic I discovered on the Sayiq plateau in 2010. Pungent, early, great fresh and very happy in Wales😋😋. Will plant for 2023 in October


This is the second of my early dwarf French beans, Blue Jay. A Canadian heirloom widely cultivated it was the result of accidental crossing in 1978 and subsequently shared @SeedsDiversity heavy cropping, scrumptious and compact so great for small spaces

I’m having this little darling for supper tonight. The first of my Syrian cucumbers from seed I brought back from Damascus in 2011. Simply the best. Once tasted no other comes close 😋😋