No beans.

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by suburbanite, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I got bean plants.

    I got bean flowers.

    I got no beans.

    No scarlet runner beans. No haricots vert. No dragon langerie. No purple bush.

    Honestly, I've had a bean pod or two, but nothing to make a serving.

    Any theories what's wrong? They get sun, water, miracle grow, and had osmocote, sand and compost mixed into clay soil at the time they were planted.

    Is it the heat?

    (PS: I got bees too...)
     
  2. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    I would leave out the Miracle Grow (which will deposit salts into your soil) and the Osmocote. The compost should be perfect for your beans. You could water them with some liquid seaweed (root zone and foliage) . That will provide the plants with some minerals that they may missing and help them handle the heat better. It's kind of like Gatorade for plants.

    When did you plant your beans? It could very well be the heat that is stunting their growth. Are they getting the water from the rain or the hose? I have noticed that rain water does wonders for all plant, where the hose just allows them to stay alive.

    Mine are not doing very well at all. I had to pull a bunch today that seemed to be stunted and dying off. They provided lots of beans for me until the heat set in. I will definately plant a fall crop this year.
     

  3. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I got the beans as six-packs and planted them a month to a month and a half ago. They get hose water because California flatlands get no rain between May and October.

    I know my soil is low in Nitrogen, but these are beans so that shouldn't matter, right? Would fish emulsion work? I have fish emulsion but would have to go buy the seaweed stuff.

    The scarlet runners have a soaker hose. The others get surface watered.
     
  4. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    Fish emulsion is a nitrogen source. Nitrogen is what makes healty leaves. I don't think that it would harm the plants if you use it, but it won't help make more beans.

    Maybe the bees are just not pollinating the flowers well enough.
     
  5. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    They probably need a little more time. Especially if they are 4 weeks planted.
     
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm with Valent on this one. Even if you started with plants instead of seeds, four weeks isn't long. Give it some time.

    The only other boggle I can think of is if it's been REALLY hot in your area. Beans won't set fruit when it's hot and dry.

    It's been so hot here, my darned beans won't even flower.

    Pony!
     
  7. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    The heat is doing the same thing to my beans. I've got lots of blossoms but few beans. I'm beginning to get some beans so just hang in there.

    I think the gophers are eating some of my beans also.
     
  8. VALENT

    VALENT Well-Known Member

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    Weve been plenty hot too but my Kentucky Wonder pole beans have actually produced through the heat. Its my first time with them.
     
  9. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    weekend before last it hit 112 here. I hope it is that simple--its maxing out around 80 today, nights in the high 50's.
     
  10. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Then I'd bet cash money that it's the heat holding back those beans.

    Valent, those Kentucky Wonders are pretty sturdy beans! This year, I planted mostly Blue Lake because that's what I had, but I will be looking for "end of season" sales to pick up the KW's.

    Of course, then next year will wind up being too cold.

    Or wet.

    Or {fill in the blank}

    Gardening is an awful lot like gambling, isn't it? ;)

    Pony!
     
  11. rocket

    rocket Well-Known Member

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    I would bet that it's just an issue of time. It's actually been a few degrees hotter around here than in your area and my Blue Lake bush beans kept producing the whole time. But I planted mine from seed in April.

    I'd also agree that you don't need the Miracle Grow or Osmocote. You've got nitrogen from the compost plus beans make their own.
     
  12. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Scarlet Runners: 70 days.
    Haricot Vert: 60 days.
    Dragon Tongue: 50-60 days.
    Purple Bush: 60 days.
    Month and a half: 45 days!

    Martin
     
  13. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, suuuuure, Martin... if you count the DAYS on the PACKAGE... ;)

    Hm.

    But I am still past the time for my Blue Lake.

    Unless I counted wrong, which is entirely possible. I went Liberal Arts for a reason!

    Thanks for the reality check. :D

    Pony!
     
  14. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Pony, advertised package time and those in question here would be very close. Beans normally grow a very deep tap root within a few days of germinating. Forced to grow in a shallow 6-pack, they can't do that. That's one reason why you do not normally find bean plants being sold that way. When they are finally transplanted, the plants have to first get over the shock of feeder root disturbance and then grow the missing main tap root. Time-wise, the end results would be virtually the same as if starting from a simple bean.

    Martin
     
  15. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I wondered about that, when all the North Shore types were buying bean plant starts at the greenhouse where I worked this summer. It seemed silly (to me, anyway) to pay the same price for 1 bean plant as 2 packets of seeds -- and these folks were buying LOTS of bean plants!

    But what do I know? When people complained when we ran out of cucumber seedlings, and I told them they had plenty of time to start from seed, they said they didn't want to bother. What's the difference between putting a couple seeds in a hill and putting a seedling in a hill?

    Strange world.

    Pony!
     
  16. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Do you have honeybees in the garden?? Are the beans lying flat on the ground or are they up on trellis?? IF you have lots of bees, the vines are growing up (so the bees can get to the blossoms) and your plants are full and dark green --you have too much fertilizer on them.. QB
     
  17. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    I had problems with seeds in the ground--they kept disappearing after they'd sprout. I didn't find the tops, so I don't think it was cutworms--I think it was snails (keep in mind this is a suburb with yards fenced to 6 feet with solid wood fences, so we have few non-bug vermin). I had to plant the runner beans twice (20 beans) to get 6 to survive.

    They're putting out flowers galore, the pole types are trellised, but after the flowers fade, there's no little bean pod starting up. I have bees and hummingbirds in the yard, so I think they should be getting pollenated. :shrug:
     
  18. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Oh, Martin, thanks for that great explanation about the 6-pack beans. They are flowering too--just not beaning after the flowers.

    Do I need to take a paintbrush to these guys to pollenate them or what?

    I have leafcutter, honey, and mason bees in the yard, plus the occasional native bumblebee.
     
  19. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    The Phaseolus family of beans do not need insects or bees for pollination. Although a bean flower does open to allow bees access to the pollen and nectar, the blossom has already been self-pollinated. All may cross-pollinate but only when bees break into the blossom while internal pollination is going on.

    If there are blossoms and never any pods, it could only be that the heat is destroying the pollen before it can do the job. With tomatoes, the cutoff temperature is usually 80F and above, which is when the pollen melts. With many vegetables, that factor is why certain varieties are often suitable only for northern zones. I'm not certain as to the temperature tolerance of bean pollen.

    As for all else mentioned in the initial post, not a single thing wrong with what has been used in preparing the soil and feeding the plants. Thus the plants are not being "killed by kindness". Although which Osmocote was used is not specified, whichever would have been sufficient without having to also use Miracle-Gro. Either, used according to instructions, would been enough but is not a factor in the non-production of the plants.

    Martin
     
  20. suburbanite

    suburbanite Well-Known Member

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    Paquebot, I went a bit overboard with miracle grow and osmocote (veggie type) because my initial soil testing showed *zero* nitrogen in the soil. At first I thought the test kit must be bad, so I dropped a fertilizer pellet into a sample as a 'control'. Detected that nitrogen right good, so I have to assume that the soil really *was* that low. pH here is about 7.2 or so--slightly basic. Other soil test stuff was in the normal range.

    You folk out east have acidic soil and add lime a lot, out here we have basic, clay soil and add gypsum, which at least means we don't have to add additional calcium (after the gypsum).

    The water can run to around 7.8 though--comes from the city well, stored in a tank on the hill for gravity feed to the town. It won't rain again here till October, so rain barrels aren't really an option.

    I have fairly decent dirt other than low organic content due to not growing anything in it for years. Some of the neighborhoods not far away have serpentine soil, which has high magnesium which kills most non-native stuff. Those folk have to use all bought soil if they want to grow veggies.