Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June is busting out all over!

You know it is June when you are picking strawberries and broad beans! This year I am growing Crimson Flowered Broad beans. They are an old variety which is seeing a bit of a comeback at the moment. The plant is a little smaller than the new varieties, and the pods are definitely smaller containing 3 to 5 beans in each one. I am pinching out the growing tips of all the plants now so that it can concentrate on maturing the beans.

The pods grow vertically up the stem.

We've had a bit of rain in the last few days and these pods have ripened quickly.

Crimson flowered beans cross-pollinate readily with the conventional white flowered varieties, and every now and then I will find a pale pink hybrid among the crimsons.

I am noticing this year however, an amazing lack of blackfly! In fact, I've never had a year like it! These plants are virtually spotless! I wonder if the cold Winter knocked them back? Last year I decided to be a bit greener and did not spray at all. I did not have a single bean last year, the entire crop was eaten by blackfly.

Only the tip of one plant showed any infestation at all. I will be taking this tip off and disposing of it. Has anyone else noticed a lack of blackfly on broad beans this year?

23 Comments:

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Sue@Green Lane Allotments said...

The only time we have really suffered with blackfly was last year with the bean plants that were planted out later. Let's hope the weather has knocked back the whitefly too!

 
At 7:57 PM, Blogger Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

The beans really look healthy! I've never tasted them, they are very large. Those bugs look dangerous with so many on a stem..I'd get rid of the stem real quick before it spreads.

 
At 8:15 PM, Blogger IAP said...

Aux contraire. Worst ever attack despite frequent soft soap. Now the blighters have moved on to parsnips, ocas, peas... grrr!

 
At 8:44 PM, Blogger Hazel said...

Snap, Matron - no blackfly!

The broadies at the Hill are totally clear, and it's the same on the cherry tree here in the courtyard garden - I noted the fact on the blog entry on Monday.

 
At 9:27 PM, Blogger Jelliebabe said...

No! Mine are absolutely covered! I'm only in Harefield so not far from you! :o(

 
At 9:44 PM, Blogger Chicken lover said...

Hi Matron
No blackfly here too - I have planted sweet savoury around the amongst the broad beans but not sure if this is the reason
Jane

 
At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Nate said...

Not a single blackfly to be seen on mine either - last year my marigolds and sunflowers were utterly covered in them so I was surprised that none of my bean plants have yet been infested.

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger Martin and Amy said...

No blackfly here too! Touchwood! Amazing isn't it. Must be the winter like you said.

The beans look delicious!

Martin

 
At 10:30 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Nope... mine have been decimated! The spring ones anyway, the autumn sown ones are ok still.

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger LindaG said...

I was going to say maybe it was the new plant, but now I don't know.
Maybe it was the weather.

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Hi Matron, I haven't seen any black fly but I don't seem to have any problems with them here anyway. My biggest problem is white fly which love the brassica's.

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger Cabbage Tree Farm said...

I'm new to growing broad beans. Yours look lovely and healthy. How do you know when they are ready to pick? Some of mine got a bit old and past it and had to go to the chooks/pigs.

 
At 9:16 AM, OpenID hillwards said...

Ah we weren't troubled by blackfly last year on our first sowing but this year they are all over our broad beans, and we may lose quite a lot. They are a bit later this year, which may be why...
Sara

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

None here so far. I find the crimson flowered less susceptible too. I love the flavour of these jade green beans and they look more appetising than the grey ones!

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger melsanford said...

Oooh! Those broad beans look gorgeous! Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

 
At 1:22 PM, Blogger Matron said...

Cabbage Tree Farm - I suppose I look at the pods, when they are thick enough and the shape of the beans starts to be seen from the outside of the pod.

 
At 4:01 PM, Anonymous David said...

Remember to eat the tips of the broad beans when you pinch them out - they taste absolutely delicious (with a bit of butter too!). Broad bean tips are now one of our favourite vegetables! :)

Just boil for about 3-4 mins - no more.

 
At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with David - cook the tips that you pinch out - delicious!! (But slightly unnerving as they taste very broad beany, but are green and leafy!)

Having pinched out the tips, we are currently greenfly-less!

 
At 11:56 PM, Blogger Scarlett the Heavenly Healer said...

I overwinter my broad beans too but have plenty of blackfly on them. Not affecting the crop so far. In fact the beans have been huge and delicious.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger surburban veg gardener said...

Definitely fewer blackfly here this year. My broadies were inundated last year. Fingers crossed for your harvest!

 
At 7:33 PM, Blogger Growth Spurts said...

Thise beans look amazing, I cant wait to pick mine x

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Dan said...

You beans look perfect. I have not seen any blackfly on my broad beans yet.

 
At 7:31 AM, OpenID gardeninginheels said...

jealousy! My broadbeans didn't take this year. waiting anxiously for my snowpeas instead.

 

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