This week has been something of a bean disaster. I’m a bit gutted as I absolutely love French beans, and I was really trying to give them a good start in life but two things went wrong: the soil and the slugs.
In my attempts to go no-dig I had filled one raised bed with reasonably well-rotted wood chip. It wasn’t well rotted enough though and this had two grave consequences. Firstly, the drainage was just too effective. The moisture after watering or after rain just didn’t stick around for long meaning that my poor beans got very thirsty indeed. Secondly, I think that some of the wood chips must have been a providing a lovely habitat to a small army of slugs. In just two days I lost nearly all of my 10 French bean plants. Harrumph!
Still, at least I have a) learnt a lesson in letting wood chip rot down fully before using it as a compost/mulch and b) still got time to try again with a second batch of beans. I had been leaving one bed empty for brassicas next month, but I think now I will just plant up the spare bed with more beans, and then put the brassicas in the wood chip bed once I’ve added some more compost!