Friday, 29 June 2012

Broad Beans

My first time growing broad beans and the pods are forming. Some plants are still in flower with immature pods, but as you can see, some plants are further on. I've read about black fly attacking broad bean plants, but so far, my plants haven't been affected. I hope I'm not speaking too soon here, most other things I'm growing have been held back by one thing or another. I've only got a dozen plants, I'm hoping that I don't take too much of a liking to them otherwise I'll regret my meagre sowing, though I can always remedy that next year. I've had to stake the plants as the weather has taken it's toll and a couple of them were near to collapse, and some are still looking a little worse for wear. I'm just grateful that something on the plot is producing as so many things are a washout this year.

My allotment is looking very untidy at the moment, to say the least. I never got round to giving it an autumn dig, and some of it still hasn't seen a spade since last year, but I'm really surprised at the state of some of the other plots on the site. My next door plot neighbour usually has a really tidy plot and raises lots of healthy plants, but this year, it looks like he's given up. Weeds cover the earth and there really isn't much growing. Further down the site, another plot has weeds neck high. I think it's a sign of what's been thrown at us this year weather wise. I could easily give up, my sweetcorn hasn't grown an inch since it was planted out, the mangetout and French beans have been devoured by slugs and the weeds are in a bid for ultimate control. It's a challenge though. I might not get to harvest much this year, but it's still fun trying to get things to grow.

A few carrots have now germinated but the beetroot hasn't. I shall have to have a go at sowing them in modules before transplanting them. Hubby had a major sowing session last week, peas, mangetout, French beans and courgettes among others. I had said that we wouldn't grow runner beans this year, opting for more French beans instead, but they seem to be a none starter this year, so even runner beans have been sown. It might be a late harvest but anything's better than nothing.


  1. Funnt we were saying the same about our site only today.

    Pick the beans young that way you will enjoy them more.

  2. I used to love growing broad beans on my allotment - the taste is so different to those you buy. If you do get blackfly just pinch out the tips which they're on and all will be fine!

    I'm not having much success with carrots or beetroot this year either, only about half of each row has germinated and they're not growing much.

    But I did harvest some strawberries this week!

  3. Our corn plants are not growing well either and the courgettes are just sitting there without much growth. Try pulling off the top leaf cluster of your broad bean plants as this is where black fly gather. It may deter them. Our carrots have come up but are only about an inch high. It really is a peculiar season.
    Love from Mum

  4. Nothing much growing on my plot this year either, the snails/slugs are getting to everything before it grows or else the rain has hammered it or the cold is stopping it from putting on any growth. However my broad beans are doing really well, just as well as I do love them, I've planted about 70 of them, a little too many do you think???

  5. Shame your weather is proving so problematic. Those broad beans look good though, my plants are slowly growing but look a fair way away from flowering. I am looking forward to some lovely broad beans with green garlic....

  6. Our first sowing of broad beans are ready for picking - about a dozen pods in total from 15 plants. A poor crop. Later sowing are looking a bit more productive though. I'm like you hoping that some later sowing will make up for the bad start. The weather just needs to improve!

  7. It looks like my broad bean crop will be rather meagre this year.
    There are plenty of plots on my site which are just the same.
    I sowed yet more carrots, and a few other things, during the week more to use the seed up than in the expectation of actually harvesting anything. None of French climbing beans germinated, and the runners that did, and survived the slugs, haven't grown much.
    It'll be better next year!
    Flighty xx

  8. What a sorry tale - I feel sorry for you. At least my garden is relatively sheltered, unlike the open plots on an allotment site, so I have not suffered so badly. I hope you enjoy the Broad Beans; they are one of my favourites, and I expect to be picking the first pods over the next few days.
    My Incas tomato plant is still looking fine BTW.

  9. A lot of the sites are like that at the moment. I have spent the last 2 weeks cutting the weeds back. The groung is totally water logged. The blackfly have destroyed my broad beans and the slugs are doing their best to eat everything else, but everyone is in the same position. All we can do is make the best of it.

    Have a good weekend.

  10. Your broad beans are further along than mine. To try to combat the black fly infestation you can try pinching the tips out Jo.

    I am having to re-sow lots of seeds that would normally be well established by now...I kind of thank my lucky stars I'm not a farmer!!

  11. Our broad beans are about the only thing that are 'coming along'. We have beans on but they plants just aren't as far on as they usually are. We're hoping everything will put on a spurt soon.

  12. I was just thinking the same about my plot - I just haven't been able to spend as much time as I would like on it this year due to the weather. Hoping to have some broad beans for lunch tomorrow - did spot blackfly on one plant though.

  13. I shall make sure that I pick the beans young, Sue, I think most things taste better this way.

    I haven't had any success with anything sown direct this year, Su. I think all the rain we've had must have washed the seed away.

    It's very peculiar this year, Mum. I think we're all hoping that we get some sunshine so that everything can take off.

    I don't think you'll be left wanting in the broad bean department, HappyPlotter. I hope I don't regret growing so few plants.

    The weather's got a lot to answer for this year, Liz. If the rain doesn't damage the plants, and the low temperatures don't stop them growing, the slugs, which are enjoying all the rain we're having, get them.

    At least we can say we tried, Martyn. Surely something must come good in the end.

    The gardener's mantra, Flighty, there's always next year. Very true, of course. I think anything we get to harvest this year will be a bonus.

    Glad to hear about the Incas, Mark. You'll obviously get your first taste well before I do, if I do. My tomato plants are still very small and no sight of setting any flowers yet.

    You're right, The Cookie Jar. We're all in the same boat this year, we just have to make the best of it and hope that it turns out ok in the end.

    I can't believe that I've got something further ahead than anyone else, Tanya. It seems everything I'm growing is way behind this year. I also feel sorry for the farmers, at least we're not relying on our crops for our livelihood.

    Me too, Mo. I'm keeping going in the hope that things will come good in the end.

    Hope you enjoy the broad beans, Elaine. I think I shall be picking a few myself this week, I hope I like them.

  14. Your broad beans are looking really good. Something I haven't grown. My veg isn't looking too promising this year. I've had to re-sow so many things as germination has been poor. Other plants are yellowing and looking poorly. Maybe some sun would help! Fingers crossed.

  15. It seems it's a very familiar story everywhere! Our broad beans have done okay, but what a struggle it's been this year! Surely the sunshine is just around the corner ... !!

  16. i have grown broad beans for the first time too this year and yesterday was the first picking we had them last night in a pea and broad bean risotto with bacon lardons it was really tasty :-) i read if you pick the tops off when you do get the black fly as they only like the tops this will also encourage more beans.

  17. My broad beans are finally showing signs of a crop but they were painfully slow in setting pods Jo. I am putting it down to fewer pollinating insects being about in all this wet stuff. I'm looking forward to enjoying mine with some bacon and new potatoes :)

  18. Well I think your beans look wonderful! I've never grown beans myself, my garden space is pretty tiny, are they fairly compact? I think the allottment system is so fascinating. I'd love to learn more about it! I just dug a plot in my's a bit off kilter, but it's mine ;) Hope your pup is doing well! My boy is finally getting his fringe!

  19. My veg is a washout this year too, Kelli. I've been resowing lots of things, I just hope they do better than the first lot of sowing.

    There's no sunshine here yet, Woolly Green. I think that summer has forgotten all about us this year.

    Your broad bean recipe sounds delicious, Stacy. I haven't picked any of mine yet, perhaps I'll take the first few this weekend.

    I think everything's much slower this year, Anna. This weather's got a lot to answer for.

    My plants are quite large, Heather, but I think you can buy more compact varieties. I'll be interested to hear what you're growing in your newly dug plot. Archie is doing well, thank you for asking. Perhaps I'll pop a photo of him on the blog soon, though there's lots of photos of him on my other blog.

  20. A lot of people seem to have lost their enthusiasm. Plus for us weekend allotmenteers, if you have a wet weekend that's another week gone by without a visit to the plot.

  21. That's true, Linda, it makes it very hard to keep on top of things, especially in this type of weather when the weeds are enjoying all the rain.


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