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James and The Beanstalk
Growing your own vegetables is fun and is definitely worth a try. We’ve tried growing lots of different vegetables and found that some work better than others.
In our experience, tomatoes, potatoes and courgettes are always a success; but we’ve never had any luck with carrots although there is a comedy factor as the can grow into some very amusing shapes. Chilli peppers also work well, but beans are probably our favourite.
Runner beans are really easy to grow, and because they’re very pretty plants with bright red flowers they look good in your garden too. You don't have to do a lot with them and they don’t need a lot of room: you can grow them against a wall or fence, or in pots. All you need is some good compost, some sticks or canes about 6 feet tall, and some string to tie the tops of the canes together.
May is probably the best time to plant runner beans, and we planted ours this evening, along with some dwarf beans. James loved it – well, he enjoys anything involving sticks – and admired the beautiful patterns on the beans. Once we’d used our sticks to build a ‘wigwam’, he made some holes at the base of each stick, dropped a bean carefully into each hole, and gave it a little pep talk about growing tall and strong.
James has gone to bed quite confident that there will be a huge beanstalk waiting for him in the morning… although he said he hopes there won’t be an ogre at the top!