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11 messages
16/11/2012 at 07:10

We've planted broad beans on our allotment to try and get an early crop for next year. Thrilled to see them all coming up and looking great but am unclear whether I need to protect them or not?I haven't got any fleece so will need to get some if the answer is yes.

Advice in my books seems to vary and I guess the answer probably depends to some extent on where you are so our allotment site is in central Birmingham, but we are quite high so almost level with rooftops in most directions except north-east where we are at 'ground level' with lots of tree protection.

Thanks

 

16/11/2012 at 08:54

The last time I grew a crop over winter here in central Italy I just left them to cope. It snowed, the snow eventually melted, and there they still were. I got a nice crop. Just my experience.

16/11/2012 at 09:39

My experience in SW France was very different. I sowed broad beans last autumn and they were doing very well when it snowed and the temperature went down to -17°C at night and stayed well below freezing in the day for over a week. The beans all went black and died.  There have been winters when I'm sure they would have survived, it's just that the only 2 times I tried it we had very hard winters and the beans died. I would say buy some fleece, put it in a cupboard and when the weather forcast is awful then rush out and cover them! Look at everyone else's allotments and see what they are doing. England is usually milder than here in winter.

16/11/2012 at 10:50

It may depend on variety, I grew some last year in Surrey, without protection and they were great, survived snow, frost etc.. They are tucked at the bottom of a hedge though, so relatively sheltered. I was thinking about surrounding them with straw this year, just to be safe, as I find fleeces too faffy!

16/11/2012 at 10:50

Yes, -17C would hurt them. It would hurt most things! It doesn't get below about -2C here - except for wind-chill - and mine survived. They're surprisingly hardy things. Good idea about the fleece in the cupboard.

 

16/11/2012 at 21:54

I sow Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia in November and just leave them be - they always survive (she says with her fingers crossed )

17/11/2012 at 06:01

last winter i put a november crop of aquadulce claudia in and found that i lost about half and they were no earlier fruiting than my spring crop so i havent bothered this year

17/11/2012 at 07:56
Dovefromabove wrote (see)

I sow Broad Bean Aquadulce Claudia in November and just leave them be - they always survive (she says with her fingers crossed )

That's what I grew. Snap! I've got some in now. They're indestructible.

 

17/11/2012 at 17:57

I agree with dovefromabove, I have planted Aquadulce every autumn for several years even the last two which were pretty chilly here in the Fens - I don't think that a single plant was lost. They tend to produce beans about 3 weeks before spring planted beans, which is nice, but also it is one less task for the busy spring gardener. My veg garden is small, so the early broad bean harvest frees up space for another crop. Fleece just gets ripped to shreds in my rather exposed plot.

26/11/2012 at 10:31

A belated thanks for all the advice

Think I might just risk it and see what happens.

26/11/2012 at 16:20

For the last three years I have sown Sutton broad beans in November for an early crop and they have survived all that winter has thrown at them. This year I sewed some more in Feb/March and they never came up - possibly too wet?? I like to sew a November crop for early broad beans. Having said that my site is fairly sheltered. I'd give it a go and see what happens without trying to molly coddle them.

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