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Runner beans

Hi all My runner beans - enorma, have been flowering well for a couple of weeks now. But on close inspection most of the flowers seem to be dropping off rather than forming beans. I don't think it's lack of pollinators, as there are 45 bee hives in the wood at the end of the garden, and I have a small wildflower meadow at the end of the veg patch. ( Sorry about this bit ! ) I'm in west France and the weather has been pretty hot a dry lately. Should I be misting the flowers to help stop them dropping ? Or is it just lack of pollination ? Look forward to feed back.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,852

    Misting will help and a jolly good soaking at the roots will help even more.  They need damp toes image

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

  • Lily 3Lily 3 Posts: 49
    Thanks Dove , I'm watering every other day at the moment and gave them a top dressing of organic granular feed earlier this week too. But I'll get misting, when's the best time ? Mornings and evenings or as often as possible ? Thanks again
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,852

    I would mist mid-morning. 

    When I water my beans I give them half an hour with the sprinkler on them - they need a real soaking.  If the weather is hot and dry I would do that every day. 

    Hope it helps image

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

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    Yes, it is lack of pollination.  The bees may be busy elsewhere but they will find your beans.

  • Lily 3Lily 3 Posts: 49
    Thanks for the advice. Although I would be very surprised if it was mainly lack of pollination. My broad beans and peas have had excellent pollination, with barely one missed flower and a great crop. I also have sunflowers at each end of the runner bean rows ( just coming into flower ) as well as Californian poppies, poppies, cornflowers and numerous other wildflowers not far from the beans. We also have extensive watering holes for the bees in the veg garden, which are constantly swarming. ( mainly to try and keep them away from the pool and the chickens water container ). I will get misting ( 1st misting completed -thanks Dove ) and hope for the best. Thanks again
  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753


    I had trouble with them last year, early in the runner bean season.  Their probosces won't reach down the flower and they were making holes (no idea how!) towards the base of the petals to get at the nectar whilst bypassing the reproductive bits.  once the honeybees found them we had more runner beans than we could eat!

    But copious watering will help!

  • Lily 3Lily 3 Posts: 49
    Thanks for that. I never thought there could be a problem with the flowers in relation to the bees. Although with the amount of flying insects in France you would something could manage the job ! I will definitely start watering daily too. I always worry about over watering but sounds like that's virtually impossible for the beans. Thanks again
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