Broad bean pests can ruin your crop in very short order, but the good news is that they can be managed organically, and by rotational planting.
Chocolate spot disease is caused by a fungus called botrytis fabae that will destroy the plant. Once badly affected the broad bean is unlikely to produce fruit and, if it does, the pod goes ugly with black spots.
Do not place any of the affected plant onto the compost heap; send it to the dump.
Since we run an organic garden, and will not use poisonous sprays, there are three modes of attack.
Broad bean blackfly is a pernicious insect, I suspect an aphid of sorts, that attacks the tender young shoots and flowers right at the tip of the growing stem. I suspect it carries viruses and other pathogens with it, as unless you tackle the problem it is most unlikely to bear again.
There are three modes of attack against this nasty fly.
If you decide to go for amputation, and snip off the affected shoots, place them in a paper bag such as a potato pocket and burn it.
Broad beans pests flourish in hot, humid weather so they are often grown in mild winters rather than summer; they will however grow year round.
Broad beans are my favourite legume; well, dried chickpeas are a hot favourite too.
The advantage of green legumes is that they have far less of the anti-nutrients that come in for much negative publicity. I personally do not have a problem with them; simply rinse the dried seeds several times, both before cooking and after.
Despite the broad bean pests they are relatively easy to grow and provide with daily plant protein, and just as important a very important compound called L-Dopa. Have you heard of Parkinson's disease?
How to plant broad beans is a very important page at this site.
This broad bean bruschetta is a favourite antipasta at our home.
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