Amateur Gardening|July 04, 2020
How do I protect broad beans?
Q My broad beans were feeble to begin with, and the tops covered in blackfly. I know you are supposed to nip out growing tips but they hadn’t flowered. In the end, I scrapped them. What went wrong, and is it too late to re-sow? Jennifer Tollings, Castle Donington, Leicestershire
A Although broad beans are generally easy to grow as long as their needs are met, black bean aphid is a common problem. Over the years, I’ve tried many solutions, including nipping out growing tips, but now I rely on a more holistic approach. This consists of growing healthy vigorous plants and then relying on naturally occurring biological control to fix the aphids.
Broad beans like to grow in cool weather on good, hearty soil nourished with well-rotted manure or compost. In milder regions, hardy varieties germinate from late October to January as long as soil is not waterlogged. In my garden there was just one fortnight from autumn to winter when conditions were right and I ended up sowing direct into a mounded bed between Christmas and New Year.
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July 04, 2020