Broad bean disasters

Another trip to both plots, with nothing to report but more snow and more crops that it’s impossible to harvest. On the other hand, at least we’re not in the same situation as some of fellow allotment-holders who were ahead of us in November with their broad beans in the ground, and who are now confronted with this kind of snow blight. Broad beans can come back from frost, and they survive well under a blanket of snow, but the combination of a skirt of snow and a frost from the skirt up for several days in a row, will almost certainly mean the end of this poor chap’s broad beans! The only chance for them is to wait until the weather has definitely improved to the thaw point, pinch out the tops and then cover them with fleece to try and give them a couple of weeks where they are cold (so they remain hardened off) but not frozen (because the cellular damage caused by frost can spread down a plant's main stem, causing the plant to rot as soon as it thaws) but seriously, I don't think there's a come-back in sight for this particular crop: the damage is too widespread.

Ours, which went in a fortnight before the snow, in other words, a good month after we usually plant them, hadn’t even begun to show when the weather hit. We’re hoping that they might still come through, although that might mean they suffer more from blackfly, as they won’t have gone through the winter above ground, which is what makes them tough and unpalatable to pests.

Plot #103 manages to look awful even in snow, which normally hides most sins, but we’re hoping that we’ll manage to knock her into shape by spring. On the plus side, she probably can’t look any worse than she does now!

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Monday, December 20, 2010


Anonymous Damo said...

That's bad luck, haven't seen mine appear yet so I'm still hopeful.

December 20, 2010 at 12:15 PM  
Anonymous allotments4you said...

wow...that is really bad luck. I am pleased I didn't get mine in too early...they have all snuggled down nicely under the snow and hopefully when the thaw comes they will still be standing proud.

December 27, 2010 at 12:25 PM  

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