A Conversation for How To Grow Broad Beans
Yvonne aka india Started conversation May 14, 2009
We've just planted our first batch of beans which are starting to come through. Do beans produce tendrils that will hold onto the canes or wires, or does it all have to be tied?
We tried to grow cucumbers a while ago, and they had little spirals that attached themselves to the nearest support and would *not* let go without a fight. Wondering what's the way forward from now, before they get too big.
RadoxTheGreen - Retired Posted May 22, 2009
With Broad beans (fava) you'll need to make a support frame as described in A28008704 as the beans don't have much of a grip and their brittle stalks are easily damaged by wind. Broad beans tend to grow straight up on usually one or two stems but don't branch out to any extent (even the ones described as bushy types are basically just plants with around four straight stems) so there wont be any tendrils for the plant to grip with. The stems are quite weak and yes, you will need to tie them to prevent wind damage. Add more strings as required but be careful not to break the stems when you tie. Check them regularly to make sure they haven't slipped out of the string frame.
Yvonne aka india Posted Jun 1, 2009
Thanks Radox. I see what you mean about the broad beans, straight growth with fragile looking stems, like the article described. They seem to need tying every 4-5 inches so far, but that will probably change (they're now about 4ft tall and growing against the bamboo frame recommended.
We've also planted runner beans - these are doing really well, hanging onto the canes with tendrils I was hoping for, like cucumbers.
I don't know how thick the stems on the broad beans are going to get, but we're hoping to put them outside later on. On a windy Scottish balcony I'm concerned that they won't survive the turbulence.
RadoxTheGreen - Retired Posted Jun 2, 2009
The stems will probably get to the width of a biro and no thicker. I did once grow some successfully in a greenhouse. This isn't usually advised because they take up space needed for other plants, they gave an early crop compared with those outside but when the summer hit properly the heat killed them off quickly. They really need to be outside.
RadoxTheGreen - Retired Posted Jun 2, 2009
Oh, btw, if you have a sunny window, planting the seeds from mixed peppers bought from the supermarket is worth a try. I got peppers from 8 plants last year.
Yvonne aka india Posted Jun 2, 2009
We bought pepper seeds a couple of years ago, planted them and got about 35 plants out of it (we were running out of window-sill and bureau top space for them), then fruit fron about 80% of them. Great little chillies for heat rather than large sweet peppers.
As an aside, what are Cabbits? Are they like rabbits, or something completely different?
RadoxTheGreen - Retired Posted Jun 3, 2009
They are a cross between a and a . Oh, and they can turn into a spaceship when required (in the anime series Tenchi Muyo / Tenchi Universe, Ryo-Ohki is a cabbit). I think my cat is trying to become one by eating as many rabbits as he can.
Yvonne aka india Posted Jun 5, 2009
I know that some people keep house rabbits the same was as you would keep a cat, like a house pet rather than in a hutch. Was wondering if it was something like that.
The beans are doing fine, generating flowers in profusion. Just need to work out how to pollinate them, a feather has been suggested by some websites.
RadoxTheGreen - Retired Posted Jun 7, 2009
I've always found that bumble bees seek them out anyway (not so much the honey bees, for some reason) and have never had to pollinate by hand. However, that said, I'm sure any plant will be all the better for a little hand pollination.
Yvonne aka india Posted Jun 7, 2009
That's going to be an interesting trick. Putting them outside to get insect action without damaging the plants could be difficult. The flowers smell great, really sweet, so should attract any insects that are about this far north.
Having looked around the flowers, I can't find a way in, all petals seem to fully cover the stamens, so it's not going to be as easy as it was with the peppers.
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- 1: Yvonne aka india (May 14, 2009)
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- 3: Yvonne aka india (Jun 1, 2009)
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