In my second ‘make a change to your plant choices’ article I’ll be showing you some superb varieties that have the edge of other plants and vegetables in our range.
Grow Runner Bean Moonlight, not Lady Di
Bad weather and unpredictable summers can mean runner bean flowers often don’t set, giving disappointing (or absent) crops and perhaps discouraging you from growing your own beans again.
When it’s wet there are fewer insects, so the beans don’t get pollinated, and when it’s too hot the flowers can fall before setting.
The French bean blood in Moonlight means the blooms are self-fertile, so will set and produce beans whatever the weather! Why grow any other runner bean?
Grow Dianthus ‘Endless Love’, not other dianthus varieties
Many of the newer pinks and carnations are very pretty, but not necessarily as hardy as their ancestors.
‘Endless Love’ is a new strain from Germany, which combines 100s of sweetly spiced blooms with bone hardiness, up and down the country.
Grow Sunflower ‘Inca Gold’ in baskets, not petunias and begonias
Hanging baskets can become a chore during the height of the summer and will often need watering at least once a day.
Sunflower ‘Inca Gold’ is a brand new specimen, which is makes a resilient basket plant, needing less water than most. And the reward for this apparent neglect is an absolute flurry of sunny blooms from June to October!
Nasturtium ‘Orange Troika’, not ‘Climbing Mixed’
Nasturtiums are a mainstay of gardens, but until now haven’t really been suitable for use in hanging baskets.
Nasturtiums usually tend to become giant and cabbage-like, trailing half-way down the garden the minute you turn your back! ‘Orange Troika’ is a new, more manageable type, which keeps itself in check, so works well in hanging baskets.
This year I grew Moonlight,Firestorm,White lady, Lady Di and Stardust.
Survival up to planting out was as follows Moonlight 10/10, Firestorm 4/10, White Lady 6/10, Lady Di 8/10, Stardust 2/10. All being treated equally.
Sown on wet kitchen paper 10/05, transplant into root trainers 15/05, planted into prepared bean row 22/06.
Picking started 12/08 with Moonlight, the others following on from 19/08, Stardust later.
Moonlight has produced a very consistent and prolific crop of tender 250mm. Long pods. Flavour is very good with no strings.
I rate Moonlight as the best of the above varieties
I’m quite excited about the beans too! My daughter and I are going to make a runner bean teepee for her to play in… I can’t wait, really hope it works!
Great! Self-fertile runner beans. I will give them a go. Last year was so disappointing because of the continuous grey days and low light at just the wrong time.