Jumping bean

Today I have a mystery…

I did not visit my greenhouse yesterday because I was away attending a tutorial (more about that in later posts), so when I got up to let the chickens out this morning I thought that I would just go and say hello to the seedlings. All is well with chillies, peppers, courgettes, squashes, leeks, tomatoes and melons, but what about the beans? There are some signs of life from the runner beans, a couple of green shoots appearing and the tops of some seeds emerging at the surface, pushed up by the roots that must be growing below.

And then there are the French pea beans (a gift from Mr Snail’s eldest brother), which are so full of energy they have started jumping out of the soil! They are planted in root trainers to give them a chance to develop lovely long roots before I plant them outside. So, why was one of the beans lying on the surface of the potting compost? Not only that, but on the top of a module three spaces away from where it was planted; I know this because there is a hole in the compost of the module from which it originated. It hadn’t germinated, so we can’t blame an extra-exuberant root. It was hydrated, but I don’t think swelling is likely to have happened so rapidly that it forced it out of the soil and into the air. I can only think to blame a mouse… but why didn’t it eat the bean? There is a slight bit of damage, which could be a tiny nibble. Do pea beans taste disgusting to mice? And if they do why didn’t it move on and sample the runner beans or graze on the tender leek shoots? Either I have very pernickerty mice or the seed packet is wrong and they are actually jumping beans. I will report on further developments…

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