evtubbergh
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Broad bean

So I have 2 plants and they are doing very well and actually better than I thought they would. Unfortunately I did not know about the many stems; and 1 is crowding out my one rose bush.

Anyway we will get past that and manage but in the mean time, for some reason, I only have one pod. It's beautiful and huge but I know there were more flowers. Where are my beans?

Also, can I cut off some of the stems to give my rose some space? Perhaps that will give the rest of the pods better access to nutrients rather than creating more stems.

Finally, I heard you should cut off the growing tips when pods begin to form. I only read that now and I also only realised there was a pod now. I went and did it even though I am not sure why. Maybe you can explain?

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Broad bean

I guess most of us don't grow broad beans. Sorry you didn't get a response. Not something I've ever grown anyway, so I can't answer most of your questions.

Re the part about lots of flowers, but few beans. When a plant makes flowers that just fall off without setting fruit, that is called blossom drop. In beans, I think the commonest cause of blossom drop is too much heat and/or not enough water. Your broad beans are what is also called fava beans? They are a cool weather crop that won't set fruit once it warms up:

Your broad bean crop will be seriously reduced if you plant your beans out too early. They will grow well in cold weather, but the flowers will not set beans until the frosty conditions have finished in late winter. In temperate climates you can sow broad beans in fall and winter.

A fall sowing prevents black fly attack. If you live in a colder climate, sow your beans in early spring after the frosts have gone. Do not attempt to grow broad beans in tropical or hot climates as the flowers will not set. They prefer a cool, moderate climate.
https://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/broad-beans.html

Broad beans, are a cool-season crop that grow best in temperatures ranging from 60° to 65°F, but fava beans will grow in temperatures as low as 40°F and as warm as 75°F. Sow broad beans in spring as soon as the soil can be worked for harvest before the weather warms. Broad beans require 80 to 100 days to reach harvest. In mild-winter regions sow broad beans in early autumn for winter harvest.

... Fava beans require temperatures below 80 degrees to set seed and produce poorly in areas with higher summer temperatures. The Fava bean produces only a few pods before stalling if planted where summer heat rises above the low 80's. Plants survive temperatures down to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, making the fava a good cover crop for home gardens.

Fava beans are a legume, and require a long, cool growing season. So, in mild climates such as Southern California, plant fava beans in the fall, then patiently wait for 150-180 days later, to enjoy your harvest in the spring. Fava beans are also considered a beneficial cover crop, because they are high in nitrogen, and return nitrogen back, enriching the soil where they are grown.
https://www.delange.org/Fava_Bean/Fava_Bean.htm

Also note, as they are nitrogen fixers, they don't need fertilization. Adding excess nitrogen to the soil can also contribute to blossom drop.
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applestar
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Re: Broad bean

Oh dear. I missed this thread.

I'm not so experienced with broad/fava beans yet, but here are a couple of threads I posted this growing season. They did grow very well this year. (Last year was another story :?)

Sowing seeds:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=51596

Progress:
https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... =4&t=53110

I didn't break off the growing tips in all of them. The ones that were growing vigorously, I left to grow and they produced second tiers of somewhat thinner pods.

As for pollinating, I might be wrong, but at the moment, I'm thinking beans have complete blossoms and can self pollinate like tomatoes. Maybe jostling or electric tooth brushing the floral clusters might aid in pollination. (When we grew beans indoors during winter on the windowsill as an experiment, some of the flowers set pods on "their own" -- i.e. without any human intervention.)
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imafan26
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Re: Broad bean

I have grown fava beans, but like Apple said, in hot summer areas like mine it is a fall crop. It is 80 degrees here on most days. I don't grow them much because while they are an ancient bean, you need to be careful who eats them. It can lead to a type of anemia for people who have the g6pd deficiency. From what I gathered it is most commonly a problem for ethnics around the Mediterranean. Apparently having the gene mutation helped populations survive malaria better in ancient times, but when the recessive gene is fully expressed, the anemia can be life threatening. Other beans can also cause hemolysis in sensitive people so it is not limited to fava.

https://g6pddeficiency.org/wp/g6pd-defic ... m0itfmTiKE
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evtubbergh
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Re: Broad bean

Thanks for the reply though :)

I wonder if my plants were under water stress at some point because they were also quite small and therefore must have had shallower roots systems than now. Also maybe I planted too late or I was just unlucky with our hot spring. Anyway the temps are a little cooler now thanks to all our rain so maybe we will get some more beans. I just found another pod but it was a bit early to pick it, oops. We ate the other 2 for dinner (only 4 beans each, lol, but they were lovely.

I also seem to be missing beans in the pods. Not sure why but hey.

Next year I will plant more for the winter garden and see if we can get lots for a few good meals. Although my mom planted them in winter and they all died in the last frost. I must get her to try again, she has so much space.

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applestar
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Re: Broad bean

Did you use rhizobium inoculant for the favas? That may make a difference too.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Broad bean

applestar wrote:Did you use rhizobium inoculant for the favas? That may make a difference too.
No I didn't. I don't even know where to get it. I hope there is enough in my soil to get them started.

imafan26
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Re: Broad bean

Here is one place you can get the inoculant. There are other inoculants, so make sure you get the one for favas.

https://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-6688-pea-l ... nt-og.aspx

If you cannot get inoculant or they won't ship it to you (this is my problem), you just need to make sure you fertilize and beans do like a rich loam. Beans need a bit of nitrogen to produce the beans. If you are lucky your soil might be naturally rich in rhyzobium and that will be enough. If not, there will not be much nitrogen fixing nodules on the root so you need to fertilize.

Fava is a cool season bean it does not like heat.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Broad bean

Ja I can't get it shipped. If I see it i a shop one day I might get some.

Talking about what temperatures beans like, what can I plant in summer? I thought some beans like bush beans could be planted in spring but I'm not so sure now. Also I planted some beans 2 weeks ago in coir pellets but they all disintegrated to squishy goo, even the one that had actually germinated. Could it be too late now?

My butternut seeds were fine but I think it's because they were big enough to go out in 24 hours.

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applestar
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Re: Broad bean

If I remember correctly, hairy vetch (vicia villosa) uses the same rhizobium.

Here's an idea -- would it help to build up the appropriate rhizobium population in the soil if you plant hairy vetch as a cover crop, making sure to crip/mow/or till etc. just as they start to bloom since it is considered invasive by some. Would this help the Fava beans if you follow with Fava beans immediately afterwards?
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imafan26
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Re: Broad bean

Unless the rhizobium populations are naturally occurring in the soil, even the cover crops do better if they are inoculated.

Fava beans are not like pole beans or bush beans. They do no not like the really hot weather of summer. Pole beans, bush beans do better when it is warmer.

https://ucanr.edu/sites/scmg/The_Kitchen ... ava_Beans/
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evtubbergh
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Re: Broad bean

Oh the beans were from a packet and were coated. I assumed it was just the same as tomato seed coating but they could have been inoculated. Anyway, I will try it some time but for now it's too late anyway. I don't think I can plant vetch - I only have 2 bean plants because space is really very limited.

One day when I'm big and my garden is too I will do as you suggest and plant cover crops and rows of beans and all sorts of cool things :)

Thanks :)

imafan26
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Re: Broad bean

Beans in packets are either coated with a fungicide like captan (they are usually pink) or pelleted with fertilizer or just plain beans. Inoculants are delicate, they need to be kept at cool temperatures and have a short shelf life. They are always sold separately.

The pods may have been empty because they were either not pollinated or they were picked too early and the pods did not have time to fill.

Broad beans and peas are grown in the cooler months. Bush and Pole Beans prefer warmer weather.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Broad bean

Oh ok they had pink fungicide then. I plan to keep some of the last seeds for next year but I had to start somewhere.

I will start my beans with the peas next year. My spring crop got nailed by the ridiculously hot spring although funny enough by the time the broad beans grew up it had cooled down.

Now I have to start some beans as the only one that survived the weird mushy rotting incident was the borlotti bean.

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