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Yesterday I bought 3 White Lady runner bean plants, about 25cm tall. I also have 6 sweet pea plants which are about 15cms. I wondered about growing them up canes, 2 sweet peas at the bottom of the first cane, then one bean at the bottom of the second, and so on. But I'm not sure whether to put the canes in a row at an angle to the fence, or in a wigwam. How far apart should they be, and which method is the easier for picking all those gorgeous flowers and veg? One other thing, as both flowers and veg need picking very frequently, should I scatter something like Strulch around the area where I will be treading, so as not to leave earth all over the lawn and patio when it's wet?
Growi g sweet peas and beans together is fIne
However. I would put one sweet Pea per cane. They will swamp your beans otherwise
How about 2 wigwams though? One for beans and one for sweet Peas? Spacing about 6" for both beans and sweet Peas
A mulch for walking on is good idea. I prefer my sweet Peas to be all same colour too. White aNd scented
Hi Verdun, I think I want them all in one place, but if I put only one plant per cane I'm going to need 9 canes - is that too many for one wigwam?
What should I put in the bottom of the planting holes? I don't have any homemade compost.
I've grown sweet peas and runner beans, just as you said, but I always grow 2 beans per cane. The sweet peas don't do that well here, South West France, so I put them on the shadier side because it can be too hot for them in summer. Now I just do beans, but it used to work as you said when I lived in England. I put rotted manure in the bottom. It doesn't have to be homemade compost, you can buy a bag of something water retaining and soil improving like compost or rotted manure. You can do a 9 pole wigwam, I had a neighbour who used to do a 12 pole one, it depends how much room you have.
Hello Busy-Lizzie! I don't have a lot of room, and really this year I'm just thinking of ways to create some colour and fill up spaces in my new garden for this summer, as a lot of the shrubs and structure plants won't go in till the autumn. By the way, I'm very pleased with my CGS "willow" painted fence, which you helped me choose. I'm doing it all by hand, so still lots to go.
Hello happy. 9 sweet peas is exactly the number I plant. They will smother your wigwam and look wonderful....no problem. I pinch them out too to encourage bushyness.
Dig a reasonable hole and incorporate some compost or manure and some fish blood n bone fertiliser. And pick, pick and pick again. Enjoy your sweet peas happy
Well actually Verdun I have 6 sweet peas and 3 beans. But I think I've now worked out what I'm going to do, thanks to all the advice from you lovely people. I shall be a very happy happycottontail when I'm finally picking flowers and beans!
Glad you are pleased with the fence.
Busy-Lizzie, when i was looking through the Big Map thread I was amazed to see your photo of the Chateau de Hautefort, because we have just booked a gite only 2k from there! The owner is a keen gardener so i am looking forward to seeing what grows well down there!
Hello, I've sent you a message.
Yes Busy-Lizzie, thank you very much. I've sent you a reply.
I've now decided to put the 3 runner beans and 6 sweet peas round a cane wigwam in a 19" pot. But I'm not sure which is the best compost to use - multipurpose, J I no.3 or a mixture?
Also can you advise on what to feed them and how often. Thank you
I would use a mixture, but others may say differently. Here in France I wouldn't have the choice as they don't sell J I, but I found it very good in the past. I use organic fertiliser which is slow release so you don't need to renew it very often, perhaps monthly it should say on the packet. I hope the pot is quite deep.
Hello, Busy-Lizzie - I knew I could rely on you for a quick response. The pot is about 16" deep so the canes should be well anchored.