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Broad/fava bean blossom drop

Posted by slashy Australia (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 29, 08 at 0:59

Hi all,
I'm hoping for some help with these broad beans I planted back in March. They're in a raised bed that is very successfully growing loads of leaf crops, and some root crops (carrots & radishes) as well. We've had plenty of rain, plenty of sunny days, and normal winter temperatures between 5C (overnight) and 20C (daytime).
The plants are above waist-height by now, not extremely bushy but not too bad-looking (but then, I've never met another broad bean plant so I have no idea what they're supposed to look like).
One of the plants has been flowering for 4 weeks now, and another started flowering last week and still no sign of beans on either of them. The blossoms just seem to fall off, leaving a little stump, but no sign of a bean.
The link goes to some flickr photos of my broad bean plants. In the lower parts of the photos you can see the little black bits where the flowers have dropped off.
If anyone has any suggestions as to why this might be happening, I'd be so pleased to hear them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo of my broad beans in flower

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Broad/fava bean blossom drop

I'm not familiar with your conditions. Could it be that you have dry/hot conditions which could cause the flowers to abort? Fava beans prefer cool and damp conditions. I've seen them produce without the "damp" part. But they don't tolerate much heat.

Tahlequah, OK

RE: Broad/fava bean blossom drop

Pinching the growing top of the bread beans when they have developed 5-6 layers of flowers does help them set pods but in general, they don't really start to pod before mid-August - early September no matter when they are sown.

RE: Broad/fava bean blossom drop

  • Posted by slashy Sydney, Australia (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 31, 08 at 1:18

Solanum- thankyou! I was really hoping for a response from another Australian. I'll give them another month or so and see if they set pods, then, before I decide I've gotten it all wrong and it's time to compost them.

Have you ever grown broad beans in Queensland? What's your success been like?

RE: Broad/fava bean blossom drop

I grow them every year and they usually do quite well. But we live in SE Qld, in the mountains where it is always cooler than in Brisbane.

RE: Broad/fava bean blossom drop

The photos show healthy looking plants. They do not get bushy really as they put up a few stems stems and don't branch. The black bits look normal but then you would expect an embryonic bean to appear from the shrivelled bits. My vegetable book suggests dryness and spasmodic watering as reasons for blossom drop in beans. Heat might also be aproblem or possibly lack of bees.

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