Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Planting Fava Beans the Japanese Way

This year, I thought I would try planting some things the way they say to do it on the seed packets here in Japan. Minus the chemical fertilizers of course.
It started like this after pulling all the weeds and making a compost pile in the corner of the garden.

And with a generous helping of this

donated by them,

I double dug a row one meter wide and six meters long. 
I used a stake and some string to mark the edge, and with my Japanese hoe, or kuwa, I piled the soil from the sides into the middle to make the une, or raised bed. The seed packet called for it to be 60cm across the top.

Ok, what next?

Next, with my helper,

We smoothed out the top with a section of pipe,

And voila! A prepared bed for planting.
(I made another one next to it just after this picture)

After we let the beds rest for a week and let the lime mellow out, I planted two fava beans each, 50 cm. apart.
When you plant the beans, make sure to put the black ends down, and push the seed down until it is just hidden in the soil. 
Here we plant them in late October-Mid November. The packet recommends putting some bamboo branches along the north sides of the bed to provide some protection from frigid North winds. 

I'll keep you updated.

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