Author Topic: Over winter broad beans  (Read 1451 times)

Digeroo

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Over winter broad beans
« on: October 26, 2020, 12:42:37 »
I have decided to try again.  I have never managed to get any through the winter.    It is very windy on our site, so I think that upsets them. 
I have aquadulce Claudia.  Any advise would be welcome. 
We are having a big problem with rats.  So they will have start under bottle cloches.  Also squirrels like BBs. 
When is the best time to sow.

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Over winter broad beans
« on: October 26, 2020, 12:42:37 »

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2020, 13:39:15 »
I normally sow about now - any earlier and they tend to get to tall and suffer in the winter, any later and they don't tend to geminate too well.  However I have sown in mid November with success before.
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Digeroo

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2020, 15:51:34 »
Many thanks.  They arrived in the post this morning, so have gone into the freezer for a quick zap.  I am not sure that is necessary, with the spring sown ones it reduces the blackfly.
The next couple of weeks the night temperature is not too bad, so presume the soil is still warm.  Though it has been very wet here.
I also have Wizard field beans, they are pretty bullet proof.  The beans are small but they make up for it with loads of pods.  Amd sometime the plants have three good stems.  Finally found that Kings sell them as green manure.  They normally self seed so start themselves off any time from August.  The deer have been attacking them so I have had to net them, luckily spotted it before I lost too many.  Soon will not be much that does not need netting.
Do folks chit them first?


JanG

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 17:19:11 »
I find the only reasonably reliable way is to sow about now as BarriedaleNick says, in roottrainers and plant out when they're three or four inches tall. But even then I've once had them wiped out by rats which have been a problem here too, so in the last couple of years I've also used some bottle cloches.

This year I've sown a batch in roottrainers but just today rather rashly have also sown about 50 Aquadulce Claudia seeds straight into the ground on the off chance that at least some will make it. No bottles cloches yet as 50 is quite a lot of bottles find! I'll be surprised if this is very successful!

Overwintering peas in the polytunnel is also a bugbear. Mine haven't made it through yet because of mice I think. I'm definitely going to bottle cloche them this year as a final try, and if that doesn't work think I will have to accept defeat.

Like you, I'm also growing field beans which I got from the farmers next door. For me its the first time growing them and my idea was to grow them for bean shoots. I've not tried them before but I believe they're good when five or six inches high, a bit like pea shoots but more for stir-frying perhaps. They's just coming through now and I've noticed today that a few have been already nibbled off by mice or voles. It'll be interesting to see how many make it through this early stage.

 

Digeroo

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2020, 16:44:14 »
My September sown Wizard field beans are looking good.  I have taken the bottles off most now, and they are about four inches high.  Neither the rats nor the squirrel seem to have any interests so they are currently looking good.  I had some home saved seeds some of which had holes in them.  Normally I would have thrown them away, but Real Seeds seem to say you could use them.  Germination was low at 75%.  Now the first leaves are showing they a not very happy and slow to take off, but still alive, so it will be interesting to see how they do.  Kings say their field beans are Wizard, so I have some on order.  But they are very slow coming.
The Aquadulce are starting to show roots.  I might wait until there is a bit of green shoot before I plant them out.  So will put my second batch in to chit.   Thought I would dig over a patch for them, but the soil is incredibly soggy.

Vinlander

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2020, 12:34:08 »
I've had trouble with cloches encouraging rank young growth that then gets destroyed by condensation and frost. The weather lottery makes it a poor bet.

I prefer to make a "cloche" from 'metal lathing' which is a cheap galvanised diamond mesh with tiny, sharp holes that even a mouse would find difficult.

It doesn't need to be the height of a mature plant, 1/3 or 1/2 is enough but it's worth burying the edges. When the beans touch the mesh the seeds have withered away and the rodents pay little attention to them. Then you can re-use the mesh for early peas or even onion sets in exactly the same way. I suppose you could leave it on dwarf peas to cover the pods but I prefer to move it on.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2020, 12:36:51 by Vinlander »
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

JanG

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2020, 06:54:45 »
Vinlander, do you mean a single cloche over the whole lot? Or a metal cage round each bean?

When I say bottle cloches, I mean with tops cut off so that they are open.

At the moment though, I have too many direct sown field beans to cloche at all and Iím finding that some are being eaten when theyíre an inch or two out of the ground. Smaller rodents still after the seed I imagine. Once the plants get a little higher, they have enough roots to survive without the seed I think.

Vinlander

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2020, 13:37:03 »
Vinlander, do you mean a single cloche over the whole lot? Or a metal cage round each bean?

I use a cloche made from a piece of the diamond mesh (skip dived) about 2m by 0.7m folded to an inverted V about 30cm high with the ends bent in to join each other & seal it off - it easily covers a double drill about 80-100 mm wide (there would normally be another double drill at least 0.5m away). I have another 2 shorter versions plus a few more chicken wire versions to dissuade rats but the mesh ones are the only ones I trust to keep mice out.

Open ended bottle cloches are very useful to dissuade all kinds of pests, I use dozens as a first line of defence for transplants of sweetcorn, peppers, climbing beans etc. I make them by cutting the cylinder out of green fizzy water bottles because they don't need to be fully transparent for this job - I call them GBCs. I don't normally use them much this time of year so I will give them a try for this - maybe 2 seeds per 2L cylinder?

They would sidestep the condensation problems for broadie seedlings and maybe the mice would avoid them as much as deer avoid a double fence? - that works because deer don't like starting their jump out from a confined space (more gems from Lawrence D.Hills).

On the other hand, maybe just keeping mice from sniffing the soil directly is enough? - I've found laying a 6mm mesh directly on top of a pea bed works too - they can sniff out the pea seeds through the mesh but they can't get through, and they are less interested in the shoots when they come through. There is very little tunnelling under the mesh - I suspect they can't be bothered digging for something they can't smell from that spot?... 

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

JanG

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 06:29:51 »
Thatís really interesting, Vinlander. Rodent defences occupy my mind quite a lot! Iíve bought in very fine square mesh and made top protectors for peas started in guttering and for trays of roottrainers. Iíve also got a cage set into the ground for growing beetroot in. Itís all quite high maintenance but becomes a bot of a mission.

I like the inverted V cage idea. I shall see if I have enough mesh and can borrow your design, but I also like the idea of laying fine mesh directly on the soil for peas. Certainly mice/voles arenít interested in broad bean shoots - they simply leave them lying on the ground when theyíve munched the seed. But Iíve assumed they find pea shoots more succulent. Iíve certainly had all the top greenery wiped out overnight in winter in the polytunnel from module raised peas. Perhaps theyíre not so keen on walking on the mesh to get to the peas?

Vinlander

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2020, 12:36:37 »
I use the mesh on soil mainly for the earliest dwarf peas because the earlier it is, the fewer other food sources are about. I'm pretty sure the mice are much more interested in the seeds, but there are other pests like pigeons that will eat anything - though my chicken wire cloches are available to help with that, and when warm days start you need pellets against slugs too.

I've always said "the price of peas is eternal vigilance", not to mention "give peas a chance" (apologies to LH Courtney & J Lennon).

I've never had much more than 50% of these peas making it to cropping - early sowings will always be a gamble but it's worth it. With a (mouse free) polytunnel the better alternative is taller peas sown in pots/really deep guttering - deep is important, so that by the time they are ready to plant out the seed has rotted away (I prefer rectangular "rings" from 6pint milk bottles - 4 fit in a drip tray) - great for snap and mangetout peas but too much work for dwarf ones, and few normal peas taste better than Kelvedon Wonder anyway (raw of course - cooked frozen peas are so good it's really a waste to cook your own).

Incidentally, the combination of drip feed watering and polytunnels/big greenhouses means you get wide areas of bone dry earth between your plants - slugs hate it, despite the warmth.

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Digeroo

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2020, 18:24:47 »
I use 1lts plastic bottles.  I have treated myself to 2 bottles of freshly squeezed orange juice from Asda every week of the pandemic.  Very tasty.  Not much to spend my money on.  They have very nice plastic bottles which make very nice bottle cloches.  They have quite big tops. Quite strong plastic too.  So now I have what my plot neighbour calls a bottle forest.   My earliest Wizard are now out of the cloches and looking very bonny, so I now have green manure field beans using them and Aquadulce are going out as they produce a root.  We are suffering from rats.  The other advantage for the bottle clothes is I can mulch them up with straw/manure.  I tip it over with a bucket and it goes between the bottles.  Then they can be removed once there is a bit of a shoot, leaving a ring of mulch round each plant.   
I have found that Moles have field beans for £3 a kilo seems they are Vertigo, but I have also just received some Field Beans from Kings who say they are Wizard.   I have called the Moles ones Jesus Beans because they are very holey.  I also bought some eating ones by Hodmeddods.  But they are tiny Maris Bead, so I am using those as green manure.  I think they might make good baked beans.   
Found this this is interesting.  Especially about 72 hours in the freezer to kill the beetles.
https://www.beanbeetle.org/handbook

Real seeds are currently saying their beans are also rather holey.  I had some of my own saved beans and I normally throw out the holey ones but encouraged by Real seeds I sowed some. They are not doing as well as the non holey seeds, about half are doing well, the rest time will tell whether they survive the winter. 

The bottles will go again in February, for peas and more broadies. 
Someone too  lot of mine this year, so I am going to put them in the garden. 
Some disappeared as plants, and when I took off the bottles there was nothing in them.   I know they all had a plant because I had replaced any missing.

JanG

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Re: Over winter broad beans
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2020, 09:15:08 »
Belt and braces. This is peas, not broad beans. And a last ditch final attempt at overwintering peas in the polytunnel.
Metal cage inspired by Vinlander plus bottles. I've left a few without bottles to see whether the cage alone will be effective. I only managed to bury the cage by an inch or so, so we'll see.
 If this fails, I might have to consider giving up trying to overwinter peas.  :tongue3:

 

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