Broad Bean & Leek Trial Update

 To avoid common pests of leeks and broad beans, I am trialling the late sowing of these vegetables. See here for the last update 2-3 weeks ago. The earliest sown seeds (Luz de Otono, 5th August) are now sporting 10 - 12 cm bean pods after about three months growth ...

Out-of-focus broad beans (3rd November)

...while later-sown plants have exhibited plenty of growth and flowers but not much in the way of bean pods. Days and nights are getting cooler though rainfall has increased. It is beginning to look like beans sown after mid-August in Herefordshire will not produce a useful crop this year. The plants have remained almost completely pest-free which is a bonus. Although we are still awaiting the first frost of Autumn, a few plants have shown frost damage on the leaves ...

Minor frost damage on Luz de Otono broad beans

There are still plenty of pollinators about ...

... which is helpful though not essential.

If the later-sown plants do not produce edible pods, then I will try to overwinter the plants; hoping for a mild winter but with plenty of horticultural fleece to hand for those colder nights. A severe winter may 'do' for the plants but at least we will have improved soil fertility via nitrogen fixation.

Main broad bean plot (3rd November)

Meanwhile, the leek plot next to the main broad bean plot is doing nicely ...

Late-sown leeks on November 3rd

No leeks were lost to pests and diseases which more than compensates for the lower yields expected from late sowings. I have informed Mary that she can start using them in the kitchen. I will be making leek and potato soup in the Vitamix which will make a nice change from courgette soup!



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