This is the time of year to start beans indoors. These beans were started in the boxes about 10 days ago and are now ready for moving to individual pots. It will be a while before they go outdoors but in the first instance they require separating to stop their roots from tangling up.
Recycled milk cartons, cut to half size, are the ideal size for small bean plants. These require drainage holes in the base. This is best achieved using sharp pointed scissors poking carefully through the base. A vegetable crate from your local corner shop is ideal for holding the cartons.
Using an old tray works for up-turning the blue boxes and removing the plants. They do come out easily. Gently working the roots free is also relatively easy as the roots are quite strong. The separated plants are then ready for repotting.
A basic composting soil is quite sufficient for the new plants. Some soil (about 1-2 inches) is placed in the carton first, then the small plant held in place and further soil added and tapped down. The filled pot is then well watered, but not flooded and returned to the crate.
With the first batch of beans started, it is time to start the next batch. Seeds are placed in pre-filled boxes and covered with soil, then gently spray watered. The plastic covering retains moisture so the boxes can be left until the first leaves are visible through the plastic.
It is still early in the year. The bean plants will not be ready to go outside for several weeks (weather permitting). The weather is very un-predictable at this time of the year so it is useful to have the bean plants crated up so they can be easily moved outside for an hour on good days.