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Broad beans gone black

All my seedlings have black stems and wilted. The seeds have rotted too. 
I planted Banyards exhibition variety. I had them in an unheated greenhouse in the same compost I always use. I didn’t water them but they weren’t dry. Any suggestions? Could it have been the cold?


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,286
    Hello @maggot2 and welcome to the forum  :)

    It does sound as if they were very unhappy in the cold.  That's not a variety I've grown.  I grow either Aquadulce 'Claudia' or The Sutton, and I sow them direct into the veg patch at the end of October.  I've never known them to succumb to hard weather ... 'Claudia' was burried under snow for three weeks during The Beast from the East and was perfectly fine ... for various reasons we didn't sow any this year, but I have no reason to think they wouldn't have been fine.  Perhaps 'Bunyard's Exhibition' is slightly more tender?

    I wonder if any other forum members have grown them? ....
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 20,457
    I haven't, I grow Aquadulce. When I sow them in autumn they always go black so I've given up. I'm in SW France and the winters can be pretty cold.
    Dordogne and Norfolk
  • Thanks very much. I normally grow aquadulche too. I think I’ll stick to them in future. I live in the north east so cold weather is inevitable. Thanks again. 😊
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,559
    Yes the cold/frost has got to them, unfortunately. I have grown Bunyard’s Exhibition but only for spring sowing in the ground. I used to only sow the hardier aquadulce in autumn, but gave up autumn sowing altogether since I found the spring-sown ones caught up anyway.

    My winters can also be very cold and even spring-sown Aquadulce got blackened by a late frost 2 year’s ago - I lost the lot!
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 3,045
    I agree with @Nollie, severe frost will kill them in an unheated greenhouse. Oddly enough snow can be a protection, it acts like a fluffy blanket. Frost damages the cells that make up plants and some plants can't recover.
    Bunyard's Exhibition is an old variety, my dad used to grow them. A friend down the lane grew them again this year and had a wonderful crop, far too many for him to use so I helped pick them and came away with pounds of them for my freezer. 
  • Thanks uff and @Nollie.  I’ve always winter sown but last years were leggy and tbh you’re right the spring sown  caught up anyway. I’m relatively new to allotment life, with v little success  so far tbh, it’s all a learning curve. Thanks again. 😊
  • UffUff SW Scotland but born in DerbyshirePosts: 3,045
    Just to add maggot2, dad never sowed his in the autumn, always spring and when I've grown them I do the same. I don't see the point in autumn sowing but then I came from Derbyshire so winters could be very cold.
  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 1,251
    PS to Uff's -  I never sow anything in autumn.  It's supposed to make them more disease free, but I've usually got a spray gun full of the previous year's rhubarb fluid with which to treat them if black fly arrive, so I gamble with that.
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 968
    I have grown Aquadulche for the last three four years without problems previous to that I stopped sowing them on my favoured date of 5th November as they suffered with cold wet weather and the stems went black, this year some of the stems have gone black again, it is the cold windy wet weather, there are still enough plants to give a fair crop.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,907
    @nick615 interested in the rhubarb. Do you just soak the leaves in a bucket for some time and then store for next year?
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