Broad Beans Flowers but No Beans
I have been waiting for my broad beans to grow for months now, the flowers have been there for so long now I don't believe I will get any broad beans.
I am very upset cos this is the first time I have grown any-thing and even though every-thing else has done ok, my broad beans have been very difficult to take care of.
Please tell me that all is not lost and that I will get broad beans on my plant when the flower has finally died. At least 2 months if not more the flowers have been out. thank you x
The reason why you have flowers and no beans on your broad beans could be due to a number of factors that you should be able to control.
First of all, check your soil. As mentioned in the article, broad beans love a heavily manured, rich soil that should contain high levels of calcium, magnesium and potash to grow really well. Also feed them regularly with a dose of seaweed or compost tea.
Natural sources of calcium include wood ash, crushed egg shells and bone meal. A natural source for magnesium is banana peels. Cut them up and dig them around your broad beans. Potash may be added in the form of rock dust, seaweed meal or ash from your fireplace as long as you burn untreated timber. Liming the soil will also help in growing broad beans.
Secondly, broad beans are partially self-pollinating, and partially cross-pollinating. If you have a lack of bees or insect action on your broad beans you will have a lack of pods.
If the weather has been too windy for the bees to come out then you won't have the pollination you were hoping for. Also, if the weather has been too hot, then your pods won't set either.
For the pollination problem you can try and self-pollinate yourself by taking a small paint brush and tickling the throats of the broad bean flowers to get the pollen onto the stamens. Time consuming, but if your soil conditions are right, you will definitely see the results with pods shortly after that.
If the weather has been hot of late, then mist the broad bean flowers to encourage them to set. The best time to do this is of an evening time. Add 2 tablespoons of agricultural lime to about 2 gallons of water. Spray the plants and deep water to keep the roots cool.
Broad beans do take a while to grow it takes 3-4 months from seed to harvest, so you may be a little impatient.
Let us know how you get on and don't give up. Growing vegetables are well worth the trouble.
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