At last, my Broad Beans are ready to harvest (well, a few of them, at least...)
My beans were sowed on February 23rd. They are "De Monica", and "Imperial Green Longpod".
Gently squeezing the pods, it felt as if there were reasonably-sized beans inside, so I tentatively picked just one pod to see what was inside:
The pod was about the same length as my secateurs. It was one of the "De Monica" ones. The "Imperial Green Longpod" are longer and slimmer.
Inside I found five beans. Three were of a decent size, but the other two were still very tiny.
I'm sure they would all have grown bigger if I had left them, but I am not in the business of growing vegetables for huge harvests - I prefer small and tender - so I judged that it would be OK to pick a few more pods.
There are plenty more where they came from:-
I will write about the ones I picked and how they were eaten, in a day or two, but let me end this post by showing you the symptoms of another very common disease of beans - Broad Bean Rust:
The rusty red spots surrounded by a lighter halo are very characteristic of this fungal disease. It is unsightly, but rarely very damaging. It seems to attack only the leaves, not the pods. Fortunately my plants are not badly affected. The recommended advice is to remove the affected leaves and burn them. It's best not to put them in the compost, because the spores may survive and go on to affect more plants next year when you distribute the compost around your garden.