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Broad beans got a bit leggy..

So this is my first year with an allotment (only had a few weeks) and decided to sow some autumn sown broad beans (Aquadulce Claudia) just to give me something to plant more than anything. Finally got them into the ground today, after sowing in root trainers/cold frame about 3-4 weeks ago. Unfortunately work/weather meant I couldn't plant them last week, when they were perhaps 4 inches high, and the mild weather and close spacing in the root trainer means they have shot up to about a foot in height over the past week!

So - just wondering what is the best option here? Just stake the leggy ones individually, or can I cut them down a bit? Or go nuclear and plant another batch (I've got a packet of de Monicas as well, which apparently can be autumn sown). It's going to be windy again very soon and this is quite an exposed site - and I am also led to believe that bigger plants are less hardy than smaller seedlings. Funnily enough the guy on the next plot to me got his in the ground a few weeks back and they are now over a foot tall and showing flowers - I don't think that will end well.. this really is a strange weather autumn!


  • WilderbeastWilderbeast Posts: 1,415
    Very mild autumn weather has really seen your beans rocket, you could nip the top leaves out or just leave and keep your fingers crossed. I'd consider staking them though as they will get bashed all over in strong winds. I'm sowing mine tomorrow in pots it's pretty late for me
  • LynLyn Posts: 23,057
    I wouldn’t pick them out just yet,  but I would thread string/twine around the canes to attach them too. Sort of Cats Cradle fashion. You can then tie each plant to the string supports. 
    You have quite a lot in there, you may find it difficult to harvest when they’ve grown full size. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • I’d do as @Lyn suggests … don’t nip out the tips yet … the weather will cool down and the growth will slow or even stop until spring. I’d make a sort of cats cradle of twine through and around the beans to support them. I often need to do that with autumn down broad beans. 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,057
    @Dovefromabove. Just wondering if people know what a Cats Cradle is these day,  not many kids would sit playing with a piece of string for hours on end these days.
    pure joy if we found a length of string long enough for a CC. 😀
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Thanks all - got them staked up with some mini bamboos today. Interestingly quite a few leaves with blackened edges this morning, despite mild overnight and the plants having been out in cold frame for weeks. I must admit I have sown a few more in the root trainers thia aftenroon since I had them anyway (although diff variety: de Monica) so can replace any in a couple of weeks that don't look too great.

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