Like most things, gardening is a learning curve. One of the best things you can learn to do is keep a diary and record what you did and the results. It makes your life much easier next year when you decide when and what to plant.
In the picture above you can see broad beans over 2 metres high. I have been nipping the tips from them to stop their growth in height but they still seem to be getting taller. As a result, they are lodging, that’s farm speak for falling over.
These beans were planted in early April around the 12th. I can now see that I planted too early. I went back through some scrappy notes I had made and found that in 2013 I planted broad beans in mid May. I couldn’t find any notes for 2014.
I am getting some beans from the crop, but nowhere near what I expected. There will be about five kilos of beans harvested, but for the area taken and the size of the plants there should be ten times more.
To give you and idea, we are still using broad beans frozen from last years crop in soups and stews. This year I planted 20 bean seeds and this year 40. Timing is the difference between the harvest from last year and this year.
Next year will be different. I will take good notes and stagger the planting and plant 6 beans every two weeks from mid April. I will mark each group and keep a record of how they grow and the harvest. I will have growing broad beans down pat for my location in Brisbane.
I will also be quite ruthless with nipping the top out of the plants so they don’t grow so high. Just when they are starting to set beans, the late winter – early spring winds appear. Even though I had the beans supported, they still lodged in the wind.