Saturday 9 May 2015

Broad Beans

I can hardly believe my luck with the Broad Beans. They look almost perfect. When they were tiny the pigeons pecked the tips out of a few of them, but they have recovered well, and they seem to have suffered no damage at all from the Flea Beetles, which sometimes nibble bits out of their leaves, giving them a "notched" appearance.

I am pleasantly surprised at the uniformity of the plants too. They are all very similar in size.

Over the last few days, the first flowers have opened.

Since the plants are now about 50cm tall I have tied them in to their supporting canes, to stop them flopping over - as they would very likely do in our current windy conditions.

For the record, let me remind you that my beans are of three different varieties - "Imperial Green Longpod", "de Monica" and "Stereo" (just a few of the latter). I'll report in due course about how they compare.

I know these are not Broad Beans, but I want to show you them anyway. They are spears of my "Gijnlim" Asparagus.

The Asparagus is coming on at much the same rate as ever - a handful of spears every couple of days, which is never enough. We never have a glut of it, that's for sure. I really ought to have twice as many plants!


  1. Looking good! The beans have such beautiful flowers don't they!

  2. Those two spears look so plump and delicious. My asparagus still hasn't come up. I'm wondering if the last four plants have died. I guess I'll have to figure out what to plant there soon if I don't see anything.

  3. The notched leave are caused by pea and bean weevils Mark, flea beetles make tiny holes in things like radish leaves. Our beans and sometimes peas too suffer damage form them every year. Our broad beans are struggling to grow in the poor weather conditions including being battered by gales. The plot is very open and more prone to damage from the elements than the garden. We still have some in the cold frame waiting to be planted out.

  4. Your broad beans are looking great! Mine are just starting to poke through the ground. This is my first time growing them and I'm hoping that they do ok as they will likely mature when the weather is fairly hot.

  5. The biggest problem I have with broad beans is those little black aphids, I think you call them black fly there. I got lucky this year, just as they seemed to start to really proliferate the ladybugs showed up and cleaned them out. Other than the aphids the birds like to dig up the emerging seedlings. Interesting how our seasons are so different, just as your plants are starting to bloom, I'm getting ready to harvest the last beans and clean out the patch.

    I'm envious of your asparagus. I have to do without this week, by the time I got to the farmer's market yesterday they had run out.

  6. They really do look beautiful. Last week we planted some beans between our corn, letting the corn stalks be the support for the bean vines. Nothing has come up yet but we're anxious to see if it worked. Planted some asparagus last week as well but we think the bulbs (are they called 'bulbs'?) may have been too old - dead. But again, we keep watering and hoping for success.

  7. Your beans are looking great. Yum...your asparagus makes my mouth water!!

  8. Your veggie beds are looking very smart Mark. The bean flower close-ups are beautiful! My autumn sown beans are full of flowers and ive seen bees moving between them. It's been so windy though, I wonder if many have actually been pollinated. I'll find out soon. They are also decimated by the pea and bean weevils. I have a second batch of spring sown beans which are only recently through the ground, I gave them some protection from the winds the other day (sheets of solid plastic on the windward side) as they're less hardy than the autumn ones.


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