Borlotto Beans

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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Geoff
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For several years we have successfully grown climbing French beans Cobra in the polytunnel. This year my wife decided it would be good to grow half and half Cobra and Borlotto Lingua Di Fuoco 2, the idea being that later in the season she would let them form beans to use the beans instead of green beans. We have been harvesting Cobra for a while now but although the borlottos have grown equally strongly they are yet to produce a single flower. Is this what you would expect?
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oldherbaceous
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Good morning Geoff, i’ve never grown Borlotto beans before so, not sure if they start to flower later than other beans, or not…..will be interesting to see what happens with them!
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Geoff
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Doesn't seem like any others from our little group have either.
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oldherbaceous
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I know Alan used to, but sadly he doesn’t get on here anymore.
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oldherbaceous
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Any sign of flowers yet, Geoff?
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Geoff
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Something in the leaf axils that might become flowers. Runners are flowering outside.
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oldherbaceous
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Just been working down the other end of the village and the owner asked if I would look at her Sweet peas, as they weren’t flowering…..they were about 48” tall and no flowers at all! They weren’t all soft growth, that can be caused by over feeding with a high Nitrogen, so not sure what was causing it…..seems the same sort of thing, that is going on with your Borlotto beans, Geoff!
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Geoff
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Still no flowers. Both the Cobra and the Borlotto are growing in the same narrow border down the side of the polytunnel but there is more growth on the Borlotto. I thought the flowers might show up better on the Cobra but you can see the difference in growth.

BORLOTTO
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COBRA
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Primrose
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I tried growing a few borlotti beans one year as an experiment as I too have always relied on my Cobra crop for winter frozen supplie.s. My impression was disappointing in that each plant didn,t seem to produce as many pods so they weren't very prolific producers This was a few years ago. Perhaps they prefer a slightly hotter climate which we may gradually be getting now although in a polytunnels I imagine this wouldn,t be such a problem. I believe Cobra are self fertilising. Don,t know about borlotti. Could lack of insects be an issue althiugh if yours haven't even flowered yet I imagine the problem may be elsewhere.

Sorry Geoff, looks like you won't be getting home grown baked beans on toast this winter. Your plants look healthy enough but perhaps they,re just late developers?
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Geoff
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Remember these? A few reluctant flowers at last.
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oldherbaceous
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You might even have a few beans late September then, Geoff…
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Primrose
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You may be lucky yet. Perhaps they're definitely late developers ?
Not much you can do to hurry them along. I don't think stripping off some of the leaves as some people do with tomato plants would help but yiu could just try it with a couple of plans to see if it makes any difference. If they're not self fertilising like French beans, might help the pollinating insects find the flowers a little more readily ?
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