Broad Bean and Leek Update (Sept 15th)

 I am currently trialling late-sowing of leeks and broad beans to see if this avoids the worst of the pests. See here, here, and here for previous posts. This is what the Leek and Broad Bean bed looked like on 15th September...

Leek and Broad Bean Bed

I had just hand-weeded the bed and collected a couple of litres of weeds...

Collected weeds ex-broad bean/leek plot

...headed straight for the hot composting bin. A couple of unwelcome sights...

Cat droppings

Remains of Cabbage White Butterfly

Perhaps the cabbage white was one of those seen 'dancing' in late August?

Broad Bean Update:

The double row of broad beans (Luc De Otono) - on the left - was sown on 16th August and watered regularly (every 2-3 days) until the young plants broke through the soil surface. Beans were sown about two inches deep, watered in, and covered with sieved compost.

The triple row of beans - on the right - was sown on the 30th August. Germination rates were slightly lower than with the first sowing.

At the end of August, a minor infestation of blackfly was noted on some of the first sown plants. This was, literally, nipped in the bud by pinching out the growing tips and spraying all the plants in the double row with SB Invigorator - a biodegradable organic pest control with foliar feed. The blackfly has not returned so far but I keep a vigilant watch.

So far, there has been no sign of blackfly in the later sown broad beans (triple row) possibly because the days, and especially the nights, are much cooler.

While it is great to have pest-free broad beans, the real test is whether the plants will have sufficient time to produce flowers and pods this autumn. I will post an update when I know!

Leek Update:

So far, I am really happy with the way the leeks are progressing. Touch wood, there are no signs of the usual pests and the plants look very healthy. We have reduced the length of the growing season so I'm expecting smaller mature plants. That would be a success in my books because in previous years the whole crop has been wiped out by pests.


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