3 Tips on Growing Peas and Beans

Do you love the crisp sweet crunch of young peas and beans? These easy-to-grow crops are perfect for all gardeners in small urban spaces. In pots, plots or garden beds!

3 Tips for Growing Peas & Beans

How do you get the highest yield from your peas and beans, especially if you have limited space?

These are tips I use to grow healthy pea and bean plants that produce an abundant harvest. I hope they help you too.

3 Tips for Growing Abundant Peas and Beans

1. Healthy Soil and Fertilising

  • Peas and beans both prefer well drained, moist soils, with plenty of organic matter and a soil pH 6.0-7.5.
  • You can make your own potting mix like I do, or improve your soil with compost and worm castings if you have them. I also add minerals and mulch. Click here for tips on preparing your soil for planting.
  • Every couple of weeks apply a liquid fertiliser such as seaweed, fish emulsion or diluted worm casting concentrate to boost growth.
Sugar Snap Pea Seedlings - save time by planting seedlings if you have a short season.

Apply seaweed when planting seedlings to avoid transplant shock.

2. Get your Timing Right

  • Choose varieties suited to your season and climate. I’m lucky to be able to grow beans all year round in my subtropical climate. I just choose my varieties carefully for the season – climbing snake beans over summer; dwarf and runner beans for the rest of the year. So timing is important when selecting your seeds or seedling varieties – learn what will grow when.
  • Peas are another story. Sadly, I can only grow these through the cooler months, unless I raise seeds as microgreens. This is one way to extend your season to grow pea shoots for longer. A brilliant way to benefit from the extra nutrients too.
Quick growing pea shoot microgreens

Quick growing pea shoot microgreens

  • Sow early morning or late afternoon if in a warm/hot climate to avoid heat stress for seedlings.
  • Plant in the new moon phase for faster seed germination and strong growth. This is also the best time to apply liquid fertilizers as you’ll see much quicker results. Root development and leaf growth comes before flowers and pods, so use this timing to your advantage!

3. Succession and Companion Planting

  • Succession Planting – To get a continuous supply of peas and beans, you need to succession plant or “sow little, and often.” Every couple of weeks I sow more peas or beans, so I stagger the planting – and the harvest.
French climbing beans growing up a bamboo trellis

French climbing beans growing up a bamboo trellis

  • When choosing your peas or beans, dwarf or bush varieties will usually produce flowers and pods quicker than climbing peas or runner/pole beans. If you sow some dwarf seeds/seedlings first, you’ll enjoy a fast harvest, while the climbing varieties take longer to produce flowers and pods. While climbers are slow out of the starting gates, they’ll go the distance and produce a harvest over a longer period!
  • Companion planting – To improve pollination of pea and bean crops, there’s a simple principle you can apply. Plant flowers nearby. To attract pollinators, lease out some of your precious garden ‘real estate’ to flower ‘tenants’. They will ‘pay’ you in more peas and beans! As the bees visit the flowers for a free feed, they’ll also stop by and pollinate these crops. Win-win!
Bee pollinating a green bean flower

Bee pollinating a green bean flower

How to Grow Guides

For tutorials with lots of inspiring vertical structures and tips, see my growing guides:

Easy Guide to Growing Perfect Peas – An easy step by step guide with everything you need to know to grow, maintain and harvest peas + delicious recipe ideas.

Jack and the Beanstalk Theme Garden – Tutorial tips for growing beans and a themed garden for children.

If you like this article, please share the love!

Happy gardening until next month.  Anne

April 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

April 2017 Newsletter - Organic Gardening Tips | The Micro Gardener

Welcome to the April Newsletter. Lots of quick tips to get you thinking about the food you eat and grow.

This month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow an abundant, healthy garden in just minutes. Dig in!


Growing Gorgeous Garlic Tips

In this video clip, I show you the difference TIMING makes when sowing and harvesting your garlic. You’ll see photos and interesting results from my own garden experiments! I also share quick tips to help you grow your own gorgeous garlic.

CLICK HERE to get your Moon Calendar Gardening Guide.

Click here for Moon Calendar

CLICK HERE to learn ALL the advantages of gardening using the monthly moon cycle


5 Step Guide to Growing Garlic

Want to grow garlic in a pot or your garden? Follow my easy 5 Step illustrated tutorial.

5 Step Guide to Growing Gorgeous Garlic tutorial | The Micro Gardener

Garlic is an incredibly potent food with antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, that help build a healthy immune system.  If you can, try to eat it raw, and crush just before eating. Read my article on ways to use garlic in your kitchen, garden and for health.


Could Your Food be Toxic? Find out!

Even though I grow a LOT of my own food, I still have to make choices about foods I buy. Maybe you have questions about WHAT you’re eating or WHERE you’re sourcing your food? It can be really confusing trying to work out how to make the best choices. I believe the food you eat daily is either hurting or healing your body.

I try to stay up to date with the latest health research so I can make informed choices. Unfortunately, food today, is a LOT less nutritious than decades ago. So we are missing out on important nutrients we need for health.

In the 1950's vegetables had 25% more nutrition than modern hybrids

The greedy food industry is hiding the truth about what they’re doing to your ‘food’. Even many so-called “natural” foods turn out to be hazardous to your health. Now, we’re even seeing genetically modified ingredients showing up in “health” foods, even those labeled “all-natural”. Many of the dangerous ingredients are hidden by inadequate food labelling.

If you care about your health, and want to know how certain foods can help you fight disease and increase vitality, I invite you to join me for the Food Revolution Summit. Despite having a busy life, it’s the one event each year I always make time for. I always learn SO much and know you will too.  It’s kind of like a giant smorgasbord, and you get to pick and choose what’s on the menu! Best of all, it’s free.

From April 29th – May 7th, you can gain valuable insights from 24 of the world’s top food experts and scientists showing you how to eat safe, healthy, and delicious food. If you don’t have time to research for yourself, this is the time and place to get the answers. Every year I pick up new tips to put into practice.

The 6th Annual Food Revolution Summit, April 29 - May 7

You can get it all online, from anywhere on earth. You’ll discover tips and tools to keep you healthy for life. So, if you want to feel good about your food, enjoy more energy, vitality and increased immunity, I encourage you to CLICK HERE to find out more about the connection between food and your health. You’ll also get a bonus Real Food Action Guide you can download immediately. I’ve already got mine, and it’s packed with great information. I hope you’ll join me.


Is your Diet Feeding Cancer – or Fighting Cancer?

Find out by taking this Quiz.

Take the Quiz - Is Your Diet Causing Cancer?

 


3 Tips on Growing Peas and Beans

Peas and beans are some of the easiest foods to grow in small spaces. For most of us around the world, now’s a great time to be planting these crisp nutritious pods.

 3 Tips for Growing Peas & Beans

In my latest blog article, I share tips to grow healthy pea and bean plants that produce an abundant harvest! CLICK HERE to read now.


10 Easy Ways to Avoid Food Waste

This month I gave a workshop on reducing food waste – a passion close to my heart. I challenge myself with ways to use up or reuse most foods and packaging in my kitchen so the recycle bin and garbage are the last resort. Two key ways we can all do this is by:

  • Using more of what we eat and grow;
  • Wasting less of the packaging we buy.

Here are 10 practical ways you can do both:

  • 1. USE 100% of FRESH FOODS – Find creative ways to eat your peels, flowers, skins, seeds, leaves, fruit, roots and stems. Regrow free plants from roots and shoots.
  • 2. Recycle food waste into your COMPOST SYSTEM or WORM FARM to create free fertilizers (liquid and worm castings) for your garden.
Compost your food scraps straight into your garden to help build healthy soil

Compost your food scraps straight into your garden to help build healthy soil

  • 3. Reuse tea leaves and tea bags as MULCH on pot plants.
  • 4. EGGSHELLS – Grind up to add minerals to your garden soil. Add ground shells to your worm farm, compost and around plants.
  • 5. CHOP UP, BLEND or JUICE food scraps to create greater surface area, so they decompose faster.
  • 6. FEED LEFTOVERS to pets, poultry or animals. Guinea pigs and poultry provide free fertilizer in return!
  • 7. NET BAGS – Store garlic; cover melons and pumpkins to protect from animals; and cut into soft plant ties for climbers.
Repurpose your net bags as a temporary cloche to protect seedlings

Repurpose your net bags as a temporary cloche to protect seedlings

  • 8. PLASTIC BOTTLES/CONTAINERS – Reuse and make your own garden supplies e.g. plant pots and labels; seed raisers; funnels; cloches; pot saucers and watering cans.
  • 9. PAPER BAGS – Store potatoes and onions in your pantry; dry and save seeds in them; or add to compost as a carbon ingredient.
  • 10. BREAD TAGS  – Save those plastic clips from your bread bags to tie up climbing plants to a trellis or vertical structure.

“The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard.” – Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World



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Thanks for reading! Until next time, I encourage you to embrace dirty fingernails, muddy boots and the joys of growing your own.

Anne Gibson | The Micro Gardener NewsletterI look forward to sharing more ways to grow good health soon.

Happy gardening,

Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener

P.S. I really value your opinion. I’d love to hear your feedback anytime. Leave a comment below or CONTACT ME!


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© Copyright Anne Gibson, The Micro Gardener 2016. https://themicrogardener.com. All rights reserved.

March 2017 Newsletter

Organic Gardening Tips for an Abundant Harvest

Welcome to the March Newsletter. I’m sorry it’s a little late due to my work commitments, but I’ve put together some helpful tips to get you growing and inspired.

This month, I’m sharing another quick ‘How To’ video in my Sow Simple series of free tutorials to help you grow an abundant, healthy garden in just minutes. Dig in!


How to Grow More Basil Leaves

In this quick 2 minute video clip, I share tips on how to grow more leaves on your basil plants. I show you an easy technique to stimulate new growth so you get an abundant harvest of this delicious herb.

Like this video? Let me know in the comments if you found this helpful.

(more…)

2017-04-18T14:44:05+00:00 Categories: Newsletters|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

9 Foods You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps

Are you growing an edible garden? One easy way to save money is to grow some of your plants for free. How? From leftover food scraps that are often thrown away!

9 Foods You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps | The Micro Gardener

9 Foods You Can Regrow From Kitchen Scraps

 

You may already be composting your kitchen ‘waste’. That’s a great way to build a healthy soil. However, it may save you money to be selective before throwing everything into your compost system. There are many plant parts that can help you propagate new plants. For minimal effort and no cost.

 

Why Should You Only Regrow Organic Food?

  • First, a word of warning! For health reasons, I suggest you select organic vegetables, fruit and herbs. Too expensive? So is the cost of poor health! I think safe food is one of the best investments we can make.
  • Sadly, non-organic produce is grown using chemicals. Not just one spray either. It’s commonly a cocktail of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and other -icides. These are applied during the growth cycle and even after harvesting. These are often systemic chemicals. That means you can’t wash them off the skin. The chemicals are absorbed internally into the plant tissues through soil and water. Root crops like potatoes are especially vulnerable. Other crops are genetically modified or imported and radiated.

(more…)

How to Choose the Healthiest Seedlings … and NOT buy duds!

If you’re serious about saving money in your garden, then growing plants from seed is definitely the smartest choice.  It’s about 10 times cheaper than buying seedlings!

The reality is though, we’re often busy and don’t always have the time, knowledge or space to raise plants from seed. If you do buy seedlings, how can you avoid wasting money on unhealthy ones or those that are destined prematurely for the compost? Photo: Susy Morris

The reality is though, we’re often busy and don’t always have the time, knowledge or space to raise plants from seed. If you DO buy seedlings, how can you avoid wasting money on unhealthy ones or those that are destined prematurely for the compost?

 

I’ve made my fair share of mistakes and been seriously cheesed off after ending up with ‘dried arrangements’ not long after planting what appeared to be ‘healthy’ new seedlings!

 

Dead plants give a new meaning to 'thin & crispy'!

I hate wasting money and time on plants that cark it with no warning – especially when I give them my usual love and attention.

 

I figure ‘failures’ are  just learning opportunities! So over time, I’ve done some digging to find out what contributed to my unplanned compost additions. I hope sharing my experiences will help you avoid ‘dried arrangements’ at your place … (more…)

The Benefits of Moon Gardening

I’d like to share a secret I use in my garden to get great results. Strong, healthy happy plants. This ‘secret weapon’ saves me a LOT of time and money.  It’s moon gardening or planting by the moon!

Learn the Benefits of Moon Gardening and how to work with nature's moon cycles to boost your success

Discover the Benefits of Moon Gardening and how to work with nature’s moon cycles to boost your success

OK, ‘moon gardening’ may sound a little strange if you’ve never heard of it before! Stay with me and I’ll reveal the secret in more detail and how YOU can use this to your advantage.

You are probably already familiar with your climate zone and are planting in the right season for your location. One easy way for you to maximise your gardening success is by working with nature’s lunar cycles. By that, I don’t mean getting outdoors with a shovel in the middle of the night! Moon planting has been practiced by farmers and gardeners who were in tune with nature’s patterns. In our busy modern world, many gardeners have lost sight of this age old science-based technique.

 

“Gardening by the moon has been practiced for many thousands of years and is not about planting at night but about being in harmony with natural growth patterns.” – Sheree Scott

“Gardening by the moon has been practiced for many thousands of years and is not about planting at night but about being in harmony with natural growth patterns.” – Sheree Scott

 

How Does Moon Gardening Work?

The moon has four ‘phases’ or ‘quarters’ – each last about 7 days.  (more…)

Do you Know What to Plant When?

Planting in Season for your Unique Location

One of the biggest challenges in gardening is learning what to plant when. To save time and money and get the best results, it’s wise to plant in season.  That simply means that you work WITH nature to sow or transplant when the weather and season is most favourable to growing what you want to plant.

Learn the right time to plant in your zone - it will save you time and money! | The Micro Gardener

Ever had a seedling or plant die shortly after planting? Your climate zone and time of year can play a big role in gardening successfully.

 

How to Determine What to Plant and When

  • Know your zone – Climate zones are generalised because seasons can change quickly. They can arrive early or late – or not at all!  If you are not sure already, find out which climate zone you live in.  This will help you choose the best plants for your area and learn the correct sowing time.  (more…)

Planting Tips to Save You Time & Money

Thrifty Ways to Buy, Sow & Plant

These are a few tips from my personal experiences to help you get the most out of plants you grow and cost you less.

  • Be Prepared: Prepare your garden bed or pot before choosing the seeds, seedlings or plants that suit your climate zone.  Check the amount of space you have available before planting. Some plants need more ‘personal space’ than others so avoid buying more than you need or have the space to grow.  There’s nothing worse than coming home with an armful of seedling punnets and watching them become ‘dried arrangements’ by the front door because you weren’t ready to plant them!  I’ve learned my lesson by composting too many ‘mistakes’!

 

Shallots are the lead actor in this edible micro garden - I prepare my potting mix first before rotating the food crops I grow in this productive small space.

Consider the space you have to work with: I chose shallow rooted edibles like tatsoi, parsley, baby spinach, marigolds and skinny chives and spring onions which could all share this pot comfortably!

(more…)

DIY Fertilisers – How to Use Banana Peels

Want to save money in your garden and grow healthier plants?  One of the easiest ways to do this is to make your own free DIY fertilisers with organic materials and household food waste, including banana peels. A sustainable solution!

 

DIY Fertilisers - How to Use Banana Peels to Feed your Plants for Free

DIY Fertilisers – How to Use Banana Peels to Feed your Plants for Free

 

Tips for How You Can Reuse Bananas

Like all plants, bananas contain important nutrients. You can recycle these back into your garden to build soil and plant health.

Bananas are rich in minerals including:

  • Potassium. This mineral helps promote general plant vigour; build up resistance to pest and disease; is necessary to help fruit develop; is involved in regulating around 50 enzymes in a plant; and relates to the turgor (or uprightness of stems and the thickness of cell walls) i.e. plant strength!  This is extremely important for plants like staghorns which literally hang onto tree trunks in nature and vertical vegetables like spring onions, leeks and fruiting crops.

 

Bananas are mineral rich and recycling the peels back into your garden saves money and returns these nutrients to the soil where they can benefit other plants. This is NO WASTE gardening!

Bananas are mineral rich and recycling the peels back into your garden saves money and returns these nutrients to the soil where they can benefit other plants. This is NO WASTE gardening!

(more…)

15 Helpful Design Tips for Vertical Gardens

Important Factors to Consider with Vertical Gardens

 

To help you decide what kind of structure to use for your vertical garden, consider these practical design tips:

 

Vertical gardens can be anything you imagine. Take some inspiration from these ideas to start your own project.

This garden gate has been used not only for functional vertical growing space with a mounted planter box filled with flower pots but also a handy place to hang some garden art.

 

1. Don’t overlook your garden entrance: A gateway is usually the point of entry and the place where you make first impressions!  With a little imagination this space can be another creative vertical garden.  (more…)