The Idiot Gardener

WARNING: This site contains information on gardening, brewing, curing meat,

building shit and hunting, all done in a piss-poor manner. It is not suitable for the

feeble-minded, the weak and lame, those of a nervous disposition, vegans and

vegetarians (and those other ones that only eat fish and the occasional bacon

sandwich - I think they're called 'hypocrites'), those who practice any

manner of folk singing or dancing, people named Colin or fans of Barry Gibb.

There used to be a thing called September…

Back when I was a lad and it was all fields around here, we had this thing called September. If I remember rightly, it was quite popular, lasted for 30 days, and generally allowed you to do about one twelfth of your annual tasks. However, in the good year of 2012, I seem to have misplaced it!

It was supposed to be a productive time. The growing season would slowly peter out, and with the Shitheap Greenhouse finished, it was a matter of building a few paths, laying some slabs for the floor, and building a few beds close by.

The end of September harkens Mrs IG’s birthday, and this year I decided to ship her off to Barcelona. Then the Mother contacted me with some news. Her husband is undergoing a battle with the Big C, and is unlikely to see his 75th birthday. Therefore, she was throwing a suprise pre-birthday birthday party. This meant that the Barcelona trip had to be moved forwards, and with travelling to the party, it ate into what should have been September. Then I discovered that I had to go off to Dusseldorf for work. In Dusseldorf I was amazed to discover that Minder is actually in German! It’s odd all those years that it was on TV I never noticed that.

Anyway, now I am back, and September seems to be over before it began (although the Barcelona trip was excellent, so I can’t say nothing has come out of the missing month).

The other thing that has come out of September is a bumper crop of long but thankfully stringless runner beans.

This year I went for both St George and White Lady runner beans. Both deliver hefty loads, both provide good sized pods, and both seem to be stringless, even at larger sizes. With regards to taste, I must admit that I tend to favour White Lady, which also doesn’t seem to interest the birds too much. The flowers are white, which isn’t as dramatic as the scarlet flowers of St George, but who gives a toss about flowers? It’s the beans we want.

I’d say the taste of White Lady is slightly better, the cropping is slightly heavier, and the pods are slightly larger. It’s a slight win on all fronts, but it’s still a win. If you like flowers, then St George wins it, but if you want flowers you should stop poncing around with beans and grow some flowers instead.

Currently we have around 25kg (that’s around 55lbs) of blanched runner beans in the freezer, not including the ones we’ve eaten fresh, and the plants are showing no sign of slowing.

Just around the corner is October. It’s thankfully free of travel, and one vital appointment is my MRI scan to find out what flavour of knee operation I need! I might also find out how successful my Barlotti beans have been.

I might even finish the greenhouse floor!

You never know…

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8 thoughts on “There used to be a thing called September…

  1. John Gray

    Just been to Sitges ourselves IG
    But never ventured into the big city of barcelona….it seems like an age away now…. Oh give me that warm sun, proper ripe tomatoes and proper growing season

  2. Hippo

    IG, I seem to be missing more than just one month. This place is STILL a building site and I’m back up to a whole bottle of Scottish Tea a day just to stay calm. So I have tiled the bathroom in the new house and am about to install the kitchen. I am waiting for a truck to arrive so I can build the planters around the restaurant dining area having tiled all 200, mindlessly boring fucking soul numbing square metres of it.

    Duesseldorf. I played for the Duesseldorf Dragons in the early Eighties.

    It would be nice to know what it is you do that drags you so often to Germany.

    John Gray, if you want sun and a long growing season, you are welcome to come here but then you have to accept Malaria, Typhoid Fever and Dysetery, sometimes all at once as a consequence!

  3. Andy Brown

    I never really grasped the idea of a “string bean” — string is sort of an empty adjective, like seedless in seedless raisins — until this year, when I raised pole beans. Kentucky Wonders and they have strings in them that I could use to weave a passable bomb shelter. We gamely ate some early crop, but since then the plants have been serving as great, yellowing teepees that keep the squash beetles distracted from the rest of the garden.

  4. Jess

    Sorry to hear of the big C in your family. You have pointed out to me though, one huge difference and benefit to gardening in the UK: there is nowhere I know of in the USA that you can leave your garden untended for a month and come back to ANYTHING resembling food! I’m pretty sure that if I left my garden for a week it would all be over…

  5. Shyrlene

    IG – Right there with you on that ‘Space/Time continuum’ and the misplacement of September; It was August 23rd, then I woke up and it’s today. Excellent harvest, by the way! Looking forward to seeing what clever recipes you have for your stash.

  6. Hippo

    And now it is October, also popular with some and largely recognised. Microsoft Outlook shows my emails now arrive in October so I guess it must be official.


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