By Klaus Laitenberger
With our unpredictable climate, there is by no means been a greater time to domesticate greens lower than protect. skilled grower, Klaus Laitenberger indicates tips on how to use the warmth and defend of a greenhouse or polytunnel to maximize crop creation and provide tasty, fit meals all year long. He offers complete information of sowing, planting, spacing and harvesting for all our best-loved herbs and greens, in addition to introducing unique newbies equivalent to pepino and yacon
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Additional info for Vegetables and Herbs for the Greenhouse and Polytunnel
It should be one metre high. Other problems you may encounter with an early sowing are poor germination, forked roots, split roots, bolting and too much leaf growth and not a lot of roots. Poor germination can occur if the soil temperature is too low. Check the temperature with a soil thermometer and only sow when the temperature is above 7°C. Pre–warm the beds if necessary with black plastic. Other reasons for poor germination could be poor quality or old seed and the possibility of the seed bed drying out.
I have grown it for the last few years and I have given up experimenting with other varieties because this one is just perfect. In case you cannot get ‘Pablo F1’ you can try: • Boltardy (bolt-resistant, very early variety). • Bikores (bolt-resistant, round oval shaped, deep red internal colouring). • Bulls Blood (a dual purpose variety with blood red edible leaves and roots). • Detroit Globe (an old heritage variety with excellent taste). • Jannis (an improved selection of Boltardy). • For the April sowing under protection you can choose any of your favourite varieties.
STORING French beans are best eaten fresh. If you have a glut of them, you can blanch and freeze them for the winter months. POTENTIAL PROBLEMS Slugs can be a big problem, especially when plants are young. Other pests include root aphids, black bean aphid and bean seed fly. Diseases include grey mould, foot and root rot, halo blight and viruses. With good cultural practices (rotation, good healthy fertile soil, healthy seeds, resistant varieties) these problems can be overcome. A regular application of a garlic spray or seaweed may prevent many problems.