Broad Beans

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chris mutter

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Broad Beans
« on: August 24, 2020, 15:04 »
Well they have given their all and now their time is up, so do I pull them out and dig them in, Compost them,  or even burn them. I have salvaged a few Hundred Beans ready for next years crop. If I get them out I can re dig the ground. Been told to leave them in the ground to rot down. Thank You.

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Nobbie

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2020, 16:13 »
Id just pull them out and compost them as theyll break down quicker in a compost heap. It used to be thought there was some nitrogen left stored in the roots, but this has been debunked as the plant uses this to produce the crop and is left exhausted. Some use beans as a green manure, but these are normally dug in before they get old and woody.

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Yorkie

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2020, 19:56 »
I pulled mine up yesterday and put them in the compost bin  :)
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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chris mutter

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2020, 14:36 »
following on from advice pulled and composted them all, Thank You.

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Vagabond

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2020, 17:38 »
Id just pull them out and compost them as theyll break down quicker in a compost heap. It used to be thought there was some nitrogen left stored in the roots, but this has been debunked as the plant uses this to produce the crop and is left exhausted. Some use beans as a green manure, but these are normally dug in before they get old and woody.

I didn't know leaving them to leach out the nitrogen had been debunked! I guess I'll go and pull mine out and chuck them in the compost instead then. :)

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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2020, 01:22 »
I think broad beans do leave a fair amount of nitrogen in the soil after they are grown which can be used by a subsequent crop but once they go brown/black, they are neither producing more nitrogen nor taking any up.   So how soon you clear them is simply a matter of convenience.

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mumofstig

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2020, 10:08 »
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Vagabond: I didn't know leaving them to leach out the nitrogen had been debunked!
They only fix nitrogen on their roots for the benefit of themselves: it goes into pod production. Once the plant has podded, there's no nitrogen left on the roots, so you may just as well add them to the compost pile.

https://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A129/
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When the grain from a legume crop is harvested, little nitrogen is returned for the following crop. Most of the nitrogen fixed during the season is removed from the field as grain. The stalks, leaves, and roots of grain legumes, such as soybeans and beans, contain about the same concentration of nitrogen as found in non-legume crop residue.

Lesley x
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Growster...

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 12:26 »
Some old-timers used to cut the halm down to a few inches, give them a feed, and try and get them to grow again.

I tried it once, and got a few extra beans, but space is probably better used for another crop. The above method probably predates freezers too!

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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 14:18 »
The statement, little of the nitrogen produced by the crop is available to subsequent crops does not result in the conclusion that the beans only produce nitrogen for themselves.  The correct conclusion is that the legumes not only produce sufficient nitrogen for pod production but also produce excess, leaving some for subsequent crops, although that is little compared the nitrogen they use.   They make a net contribution of nitrogen to the soil beyond their own needs.   Other non-legume crops around them deplete nitrogen from the soil, so the relative benefit is therefore much greater.







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New shoot

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2020, 15:11 »
The statement, little of the nitrogen produced by the crop is available to subsequent crops does not result in the conclusion that the beans only produce nitrogen for themselves.  The correct conclusion is that the legumes not only produce sufficient nitrogen for pod production but also produce excess, leaving some for subsequent crops, although that is little compared the nitrogen they use.   They make a net contribution of nitrogen to the soil beyond their own needs.   Other non-legume crops around them deplete nitrogen from the soil, so the relative benefit is therefore much greater.

But the question was about leaving them in the ground to rot down and release nitrogen, so the advice to pull them up and compost them still stands.  A full compost heap is going to be way more use than dead bean plants in the ground  :)

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Grubbypaws

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2020, 14:45 »
Are you OK to compost them if they have chocolate spot?

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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2020, 21:47 »
Yes.   Chocolate spot on the beans does not stop you composting both pods and stalks.

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JayG

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2020, 09:04 »
Yes.   Chocolate spot on the beans does not stop you composting both pods and stalks.

RHS advice is not to compost plants infected with chocolate spot:

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Non-chemical control
Maximise air flow around the plants by wider spacing and avoid damp, humid sites
Destroy infected plant material at the end of the season
Eliminate common vetch from the vicinity
Avoid using seed from infected plants

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=89
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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CHRISDONOHUE

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2020, 23:11 »
Chocolate spot is a fungal disease, a form of botrytis specific to broad beans.   If parts of the plant are composted and the fungal disease is not destroyed by the composting process, the chance of the resulting compost being used anywhere near broad beans which do not require nitrogen because they are legumes and make sufficient nitrogen for their own growth and store excess in the plants themselves is so minimal as to be    excluded for all practical purposes.   The assumption that RHS advice is reliable and practical is extremely dangerous.   Following RHS advice would mean that every dandelion and every item of couch grass you dig up should be excluded from the compost heap because they are perennial weeds.   I find this entirely bizarre advice of zero practicality and can personally testify from decades of experience that they both compost extremely well with no adverse effects.

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Plot 1 Problems

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Re: Broad Beans
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2020, 00:28 »
Chocolate spot is a fungal disease, a form of botrytis specific to broad beans.   If parts of the plant are composted and the fungal disease is not destroyed by the composting process, the chance of the resulting compost being used anywhere near broad beans which do not require nitrogen because they are legumes and make sufficient nitrogen for their own growth and store excess in the plants themselves is so minimal as to be    excluded for all practical purposes.   The assumption that RHS advice is reliable and practical is extremely dangerous.   Following RHS advice would mean that every dandelion and every item of couch grass you dig up should be excluded from the compost heap because they are perennial weeds.   I find this entirely bizarre advice of zero practicality and can personally testify from decades of experience that they both compost extremely well with no adverse effects.

Well that's ok then guys, lets rip up all the wisdom and accrued advice of an institution such as the RHS, with decades of research and investigation, because somebody with 60 odd posts on a forum says it's wrong in his view!




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