Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Beans Replace Carrots in Our Raised Box Gardens

Jacob's Cattle Beans from SeedsforSecurity.com
After planting some new seeds on Saturday, wifey and I decided to re-plant some things in our raised box gardens. Each box is 3'x3' accomodating a good 5-6 rows of seed. Two of our boxes were filled with carrots and for reasons uncertain, we have ONE sprout in each box. Our seeds sat just under the soil surface for over a month before I covered them with bird net. I suspect either faulty seeds, scavengers (birds,cats), toddlers (who thought the gardens were sandboxes) or improper watering techniques...or all the above.

Regardless, after checking our growing chart, we planted bean seeds in both boxes and were careful not to distrurb our lonely little carrot sprouts. I didn't see any budding carrot seeds while planting the beans. One raised box got French Horticulture Beans and the other box got Jacob's Cattle Beans. 90% of our seeds come from Seeds for Security. We've learned that seeds bought on sale at dollar stores don't do as well as our Seeds for Security heirlooms. Like the carrots for example. I wanted to try purple carrots and the only place I found seed was online. Turns out they came from Sweden?

I managed to make it to Home Depot to buy trim, finishing nails, and some epoxy/putty to fill in the cracks on my wall niche project. I ran out of time before I could actually use the items though. So I tucked the supplies away, in the garage, out of reach from the little ones. I'm looking forward to finishing the project and seeing how much stuff the shelving will hold.

I was graced with a visit by a carpenter in our ward. He was adding a walk-in pantry to a home across the street and needed to borrow my razor knife. I coaxed him in far enough to see my handy work. It was painful to see him stammer for words to describe my first carpentry project but I was still proud just the same. He admitted that most of my inaccuracies could be covered with trim and I was happy to hear it.  The way I see it, with six daughters, I would rather learn how to do this stuff now on my house than to booger up my girls' houses when they need help. I have to admit, coming from the medical field, this building stuff is kinda fun too.

Mystery plant in the potato garden.
I found something growing in the potato garden although I'm not too sure it's a potato. It is growing right up next to the sprinkler head and looks to be the only thing growing among the store bought potatoes that I cut up and planted.

Now I just have to figure out when its time to harvest everything.


  1. Interesting! It looks completely different that the stalk growing a few feet away. We planted purple (store bought) potatoes next to our corn and what I would call "regular" potatoes next to those. The picture above shows the stalk in the "regular" potato area.

    In the middle of the purple potato area is a white-ish single stalk (no leaves like the one pictured) and looks completely different. Wifey dug down into the white one and found it was actually connected to a purple potato. I didn't want to disturb the green, leafy stalk.

    I'm surprised at how different they look. Yes, I'm a noob. :-)

  2. Most dry beans are determinate, meaning they set their crop all at once, with a few flowers showing up after the main set.
    Jacob's Cattle is not exception. The plants may produce a couple of flowers after the beans are mature, but it is nothing to worry about. Once the seed is set. the plants have completed their task.
    Best to leave them to dry completely on the plants, but if you are needing the space or the weather threatens to spoil them, do as Diana Kay suggests if they are not dry, or pick the pods individually when the drying process has begun. Going on the fullness of the pods or size of the beans is not a good indicator of ripeness. Browning pods are.

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