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tarheelchick July 29, 2016 06:06 PM

lots of leaves, few pods
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This is the first time I've planted butterbeans. I had no clue what I was doing but as you can see from the picture, I did get a lot of vine growing! I'm certain that I planted too heavily for the area. I planted about 2 seeds in each hole, not trusting that anything would come up. The top of the trellis is so full that I can't see how any blooms can even happen in that massive jungle. I've only just this week picked about a handful of mature pods.

There are a few more immature pods that I can see, but I really don't see very many blossoms at all. Part of that may be due to the heat and humidity we've been having, but I'm not sure. Should I try to trim out some of the growth on top? (although they are all twisted up together and it would be difficult). Leave this alone and continue waiting? Any suggestions or thoughts? Oh, and I think I must have some kind of a pest in there although I haven't been able to see anything, but I have had the tiniest little ants crawling up and down the vines. I can't really see any damage to the leaves or anything so I haven't worried about it. Should I be worrying?

Also, I've read that I should have added a soil inoculant (whatever that is), when I planted the seed. Do you all recommend that for next year? Is there a particular brand?

Worth1 July 29, 2016 06:13 PM

I have read and heard that too much nitrogen will do this with legumes.
Plant some corn in there with it that should help maybe, just an idea.


tarheelchick July 30, 2016 08:08 PM

Unfortunately I don't have enough room for corn. Sure does sound good though....

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Worth1 July 30, 2016 08:11 PM

Just plant 4 5 or 6 down the side of each row it will act like a weed and use up some of the nitrogen.

PhilaGardener July 30, 2016 08:19 PM

I've had limas set poorly in the heat of Summer but when the cooler weather of Fall comes they start bearing prolifically. Keep us posted!

Nematode July 31, 2016 02:21 PM

My beans get the same feed as the tomatoes 200+ ppm N, and I picked 1/3 bushel off a 12' double row of pole beans yesterday.

Zeedman July 31, 2016 03:35 PM

Inoculant should not be necessary, although it might have been helpful if beans were never grown on that soil before. As others have noted, excess N can delay flowering... but if you have already harvested some pods, then excess N is unlikely to be the cause - unless fertilizer was added later.

Crowding might be at least partially responsible. I also wonder if shade could be part of the problem, since I note trees in the background... do the plants get full sun?

tarheelchick July 31, 2016 09:18 PM

Yes, they get full sun. Would there be any benefit to trying to thin out the stems on top? Will that hurt? The heat and humidity has been unbearable. Ugh.

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