I sowed broad beans this March (As I ususally do). They usually grow slowly during winter for me and I get an early crop in spring. This year they are already flowering!! So ... I do not know wether to leave them alone or to cut them up and dig them as green manure. Does anyone think I may get a crop out of them either now or in spring? I am in Wellington with a plot that gets hit by the northerly.
I just dug in a flowering crop myself this week as green manure, they had little pods forming but the cold will stop the bees from pollinating and further pods setting, plenty of time to get another crop going I thought. I like eating the leaves over winter, I think the late sown ones catch up to the early ones as the temperature has a lot to do with whether the pods set on the plants and they dont grow as lanky so are not as susceptible to wind. just my opinion :)
I agree with Kali. It's best to sow broad beans in June/July so that when they start to flower it is warm enough for the bees to pollinate them. Bumble bees or honey beed will do the trick.
Thanks heaps ... I shall dig them in!
Hi. The other option is to cut the plant just near the ground, mulch, and they will come up again. Save you from starting from seed. you can still dig in the stalks to another garden plot or mixed in your compost pile. Oppss..must be late now as this Q&A was posted in May. However, after harvesting the pods early spring, cut the plant just near the ground, water every now and then, and they will come up again for second crop. Cheers.
I am coming into thread this very late but wish to comment on this. I have grown broad beans in all parts of NZ from Southland to Northland and they generally follow the same pattern wherever you are. You could certainly leave the beans in and must do so- they will slow down in winter but when spring starts they burst into life again and you will have heaps and heaps of fresh broad beans. The reason to start them late summer/autumn is to get them going before winter, then they slow right down which is normal and what this type of plant is "designed" to do. It is always a long waiting game with Broad beans but well worth it as nothing beats the flavour of freshly picked broad beans.