BEANS – DWARF AND HARICOT
The ministry’s cropping plan provides for two rows of dwarfs. The plants of dwarfs are tender and should not be sown in the open until mid-April in the south and mid-May in the north. Successive batches can be sown until mid-July. Rows should be 2 ft. or 2-1/2 ft. apart, with 9 in. between plants.
Use a dibber, or draw a shallow trench with a hoe, about 2 in. deep. If you put two seeds at each interval you can reckon on a regular stand. Pull out the unwanted weaker plant, when sufficiently advanced. A light mulching of the surface with lawn mowings, decayed leaves or compost will help to keep the plants growing.
If you grow haricots for storing, you proceed as for dwarfs, but you don’t pick any green pods. How you deal with them will be dealt with in a later Guide.
The first sowing of carrots––a stump-rooted kind––(to provide roots for summer and autumn) should be made in early April. The storage crop is best sown in May or early June. If sown early, thinnings may be pulled and used as early carrots without harming the rest of the crop; but the ground must be made firm again after thinning out, to reduce the danger of carrot fly attack. A late sowing in mid-July will provide tender young carrots for use the following spring (April––May).
Sow seed thinly in drills drawn 1 ft. apart and 1 in. deep. As carrot seed is small, mix a little dry earth or sand to avoid too thick sowing, which wastes seed and means a good deal of thinning. First thin in the seedling stage and keep the bed free from weeds by frequent use of the hoe. Plants should finally be 6 in. apart.
The official cropping plan provides for two rows of Globe Beet. The globe variety matures quickly and is suitable for general cultivation. It is easier to boil in the usual kitchen pot than the longer varieties––a point that the missus will appreciate.
Sow globe crops in April, longer varieties in May. Drills should be 1-1/2 to 2 in. deep and at least 1 ft. apart. Sow seeds in small clusters 6 in. apart, to avoid waste, and thin the plants to one when three leaves have formed. A few strands of black cotton stretched above the rows will protect the seedlings from troublesome birds.
I find it amusing how there is a sexist assumption it will be the man growing with his wife cooking despite the fact that the war industries were kept going by women taking on traditionally male jobs.
Nowadays we tend to grow the globe beet roots almost exclusively although you can still get long rooted varieties easily enough.
The Ministry’s cropping plan does not include cabbages for use in summer and early autumn, except as an alternative to runner beans in cold districts. If you have enough room, however, and you would like a choice of green vegetables in late summer, sow a row now in the seedbed (see page 3 of March Guide).
Continue to sow a short row (1/2 in. deep) every fortnight, to make sure of crops in succession. (See March Guide, page 4).