broad beans...no beans?

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broad beans...no beans?

Postby kitkat » Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:20 pm

Hi Folks, Is there a broad bean expert around? My broad beans are flowering beautifully and have grown well(they look healthy) but as the flowers finish they go black at the stem join and the beans don't grow, :cry: a couple of beans have protruded an inch and then gone black but most haven't even grown from the flower at all...most unusual! Any ideas welcome.:idea:
thanks for sharing, Sue
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Postby Ann » Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:30 pm

Even if they do not fruit, :cry: :cry: they make great green manure for the cabbage family to folloe.
I'm a bit like Bruce's spider; try, try, try again. Sonas, Ann
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Postby kitkat » Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:57 pm

yes Ann..it's looking like I'll end up digging them in , though I did plant a lot of peas in the bed for that piurpose too.I have been eating a few of the tops lately just so I get some benefit from the darn things.They do look pretty in the garden too ...lovely black and purple flowers.I am suspecting red spider mite as I notice some of the peas are silvered and thats a sure sign they are around but as I am not all that familiar with broad bean I thought maybe it might be a disease or something else.They look so darn healthy and its looking like I might get about five beans from 30 plants.Ho Hum ....chalk it up to green manure then.
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Postby Luzy » Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:37 pm

Hi kitkat,

An old Yates Guide suggests that flower drop is a common problem in early spring due to low temperatures and that pod setting will improve with warmer weather and more bee activity. An older book (1956) suggests to pinch out the tips as a good head of flowers form to encourage setting of pods.

At least broad beans look good - and are good for the garden!
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Postby kitkat » Mon Aug 22, 2005 4:32 pm

Well my instincts must be OK because I read in Jackie French's book Wilderness Garden that you can eat the tips and it will discourage aphid so I have been pinching them back and adding them to my stir fry for weeks now....to no avail with the bean set though.

I picked the couple of small beans this morning and they look to me like they have some form of sooty mould or something similar ...the beans have dark tips each end and the dead flowers are totally black where the bean begins ..yet the flowers look really healthy until fruit set...can't see any aphid but there are few ants on them and that is a sign isn't it?Never mind I'll dig em in if they don't do any producing now the sun is warming things up ....nice Springlike day today.I'll give them a couple more weeks then its to the compost for them.
Thanks for sharing.
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Postby Luzy » Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:14 pm

Hi cardhed - you're from Melbourne, right? When did you plant broad beans to have them so tall so now?
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Postby Luzy » Wed Aug 24, 2005 8:26 pm

Wow, cardhed, you're on the ball - all my books say that's the beginning of the time to plant broad beans in "cool climates". Like last year, I planted late May and then again mid-June (waiting for space...), so harvest was late(ish) in the season but continued through to the end of the year. My plantings are now between 8 and 12 inches high, just getting buds.

kitkat, I imagine your Vic climate is much different to Melboure's mainly-fine-partly-cloudly-chance-of-a-shower thingo, with more extremes - when did you plant? And, any more progress and luck?

Mind you, I guess little suburban backyards can create micro-climates that throw everything out!

And, cardhed - if broadbeans are going to be your winter thing, just how many ways do you cook (/eat) them? Don't know about anyone else, but I'm always looking for ways to "re-do" vegies!
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Postby Luzy » Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:37 pm

Just out of curiosity, when you say 'sour cabbage' do you mean sauerkraut? And when you eat them, is it always the whole bean (having had them as shelled for my entire life, except for when I'm desperate for some greens from the garden)?

Does anyone else have an interest in sharing recipes? :-? (yn)
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Postby kitkat » Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:18 pm

Hi Folks, My broad beans went in in April ..about ANzac day I think ...it is the recommended time in my book..they are the same Early Longpod as cardheads'. But so far only two large beans all the rest haven't formed or turned black and dropped off. I did pick three or four that were blackish & only about 1-1'2 inches long ,...it seemed like sooty mould to me. I have doused them with soapy water in case its thrips, aphids or mites but though I can see ants I can't see anything else on them.Mine are about 2 ft tall now and I have been pinching the tips out since they were 18 inches high,i notice that creates lots of new stems though ...and they look a bit spindly to me.
I like to eat them tiny in stir fries or dry them and use them shelled in soups like Minestrone...yum.
I planted a couple of early tomatoes this morning Roma,Russian Black and Burkes Backyard ...our climate here in the Wimmera is a bit warmer than Melb...more Mediterranean so as long as i protect them from the odd frost they should grow Ok.They are inside tyres for warmth and I have some seeds coming up under glass too.Lovely days now though mornings are cold.Though goodness knows we need inches of rain!
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Postby Luzy » Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:12 pm

The stir fry with the tiny broad beans sounds good kitkat. I've only grown them out once so that the beans are huge and then to try a "double peeled" recipe (too much preparation for me, so I found). Our favorite way is to pick them when the beans inside are young, shell and then lightly steam them so they're just turned green.

And those tyres - what a good idea for some tomato warmth. Good luck with them - and the rain.
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Postby kitkat » Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:34 pm

I am almost sure it is thrips or aphids affecting the broad beans..I too have lots of bees and there was plenty of water they have grown really well ..it is just the fruit set that is the problem ...a bit like my plums last year and that turned out to be thrips ..they eat the heart out of the blossom so it doesn't set fruit.I might buy a biological insect to combat them this year.The bees are busy in the plum blossom too and the pak choy which has gone to seed now ..lots of yellow flowers on it.
Yes what a good idea next year we can have a bean growing comp...or why not this year a tomato growing one ..or beans or something ..anything ..maybe just a bountiful harvest ????what fun.

I'll need to upgrade my computer so I can use my digital camera...have camera but no way to connect it to my old computer ..no usb . boo hoo.I live 43 klm out of town so it's not easy to take the camera to town for a download either.I always seem to forget when I go..which is not that often...maybe once a fortnight these days.I'll work on a solution.
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Postby Luzy » Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:34 pm

Well, I know I won't win the Big Broad Bean comp - even if I get something that even looks like it could be an entry it'll be waaay over the closing date!
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Postby kitkat » Tue Aug 30, 2005 5:13 pm

Me neither..I still have just two beans growing on one plant...all the rest are just nice flowers that go nowhere or tiny beans that turn black ...oh well next time maybe.
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Postby Luzy » Fri Sep 02, 2005 8:15 pm

Seems like we might have some new pics to look at every day now... :lol:

Nice broadbeans, though I'd be picking by now, loving them nice and succulent. And do we now have a candidate for the Big Broad Bean competition? :lol:
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Postby Luzy » Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:25 am

Yeah, I'd be picking the bigger ones and shelling them for the beans inside. Then a light steam, and yum!
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Postby Kerrie » Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:26 pm

With a bit of garlic butter... mmmmmmmm!
Hey, does it count if I post a pic of my Mum's broad beans? Year after year she produces an incredible crop - or is that cheating? :lol:

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Postby Luzy » Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:38 pm

Or, with a squirt of lemon juice and a grind of black pepper. :lol: Personally, I'd love to see your Mums' broad beans (I've yet to see one of mine set - seeing other peoples is the closest I'll get for a while!)
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Postby Luzy » Sun Sep 04, 2005 7:03 pm

Hey cardhed, Nice mulch...

Anyway, what about steaming the garlic and the onion with the broadbeans (not for long) and them draining them and giving them a quick fry in butter? Or perhaps just frying the garlic and the onion, then tossing the broad beans in for a bit? I might try that one :wink:

I'll take some pics of my beans, too - if they ever get any! :lol:
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Postby kitkat » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:57 pm

well I am happy to say that my broad beans are now looking healthier,I have been "helping' them along a bit by removing the dried flower casing that was turning black and sticking to the bean ...this in turn was causing sooty mould...or maybe it was aphids? Anyway now my beans are getting along a lot better and I'll end up with a decent crop though those first two beans are still the biggest by far ...but give em time...I am going to let them dry on the plant and use them later as Faba beans in Minestrone...yum.
Nice drop of rain this weekend ..though the Royal Show in Melb must be suffering as the winds are strong as here ....and blew all day....watch out Melb.!
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Postby Luzy » Sat Sep 24, 2005 12:15 pm

Oh, how exciting - A broad bean has finally set for me! And only how many months behinds everyone else's? :lol: :lol:
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