In November I planted Romano beans which are a dwarf bush bean. They’re an heirloom variety I got from The Diggers Club. I had a bumper crop of tasty green beans for a week or so in December and then extremely hot weather hit during the Christmas week and my bean plants didn’t make it. The weekend before Christmas there were lots of small beans on the plants and I was looking forward to continuing the harvest every day. It was 40ºC on Christmas Day and 44ºC on Boxing Day. In the days following a few of the bean bushes died. Of the bushes that didn’t, the beans never grew large enough for picking. Most of the plants are now dead and the living plants have no beans.
I went to see my friends who live near Mandurah the weekend after New Year and their vegie garden was bountiful, because they water it twice a day. I only water mine in the evening. I keep meaning to get up early and water it before the heat of the day, but this would still only be once a day and it might not make any difference.
My dad told me to plant more bean seeds and they would come good. I did this last week, so I’m hoping I’ll have freshly picked beans every day again in a few weeks.
On the upside, the sunflowers opened in time for Christmas and were a beautiful sea of yellow along the front fence. And the tomatoes don’t mind the heat at all (as long as I water them every day). They’re growing taller every day, although I’m still waiting for the harvest. One “compost” tomato popped up earlier than the seeds I planted and I’ve had a couple of tomatoes straight from that bush. They were tasty, tasty, tasty!
I’ve discovered that my newly started bed on the inside of the front fence, which gets almost no shade, is too hot for most vegies right now. I planted a lot of tomato seedlings and beans at the same time as in my original bed which is partly shaded during the day. In the front bed none of the beans survived and there are only a couple of very small tomato plants (although the marigolds and NZ spinach are going wild). Until a few of months ago the bed was sand. I added compost, manure and mulch, but it hasn’t improved the soil enough and water isn’t held as well as in the older bed. I’ll continue improving the soil with compost and mulch and it might be good enough for winter vegies – I’m looking forward to peas. I’m hoping the sunny position will be perfect for winter growing (Perth’s winters have quite a bit of sun and no frost).