Borlotti Beans and Compost

This little section of my garden was a disaster a couple of years ago.  Dense clay soil made it difficult for anything to grow, so I began a rehabilitation programme which I have been using in other areas of the garden.  The first step was to plant potatoes, surrounded in compost.  As the potatoes grow they help to break up the clay, making it easier to break down further with a spade when it comes time to dig up potatoes.  After my potato harvest I planted broad beans, for the root nodules nitrogen fixing properties, and after that harvest I dug through the stalks for the same reason.  The stalks did not break down as well as I had hoped.  In future I will be chopping these up into smaller segments before digging them through the soil.  My final effort to repair the garden was to make stacks of compost on top, made of kitchen scraps (no citrus - worms hate it, and no meat scraps of course), grass clippings and a bit of shredded paper.  Turning the compost piles regularly the first few days helped speed up the process of it breaking down and the end result was a beautiful fine-grained compost.

This is the first crop I have grown since I finished my Clay Rehab.  They're borlotti beans, and so far they are going gangbusters.  It's a bit late in the season and hopefully they mature before the first frosts set in, but I'm really pleased with how far this bit of garden has come.

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