Our runner beans are surrounded by hoverflies, and their larvae will eat & so control the blackfly on the runner beans.
The hoverflies mimick wasps by having the same colouring, so they are left alone and avoided by other animals!
The following photo shows a hoverfly on a runner bean flower – it is on the top left of the photo.
Unfortunately it is much easier to see the blackflyon the runner bean plants!
There is always a time lag whilst the controlling insects build up their numbers, & the pest increases. Hopefully the hoverflies will soon have the blackfly on the runner beans under control!
This recipe for green bean and tomato stew is a novel way of using up a glut of runner beans & tomatoes at the end of the season.
- 2lb runner beans
- 1lb ripe tomatoes
- 3 onions
- 1/2 pint olive oil
- 1/2 pint hot water
- 1 tbs sugar
- salt & pepper
- string & slice beans
- peel & chop tomatoes
- peel & grate onions
- heat oil in pan
- add onions and tomatoes & cook slowly till soft
- add beans, sugar, salt, pepper & hot water
- simmer till tender
- remove pan from heat & stand for 30 minutes before serving
- serve warm or cold
This green & tomato stew recipe is good for vegetarians.
Many vegetables grown in the garden are good for the health of eyes, when eaten.
Carrots help you see in the dark . Beta-carotene gives carrots their yellow colour. It forms Vitamin A, which is an antioxidant.
Leafy green vegetables are very good for eyes, too. They contain lutein & Vitamin E which are antioxidants. Lutein protects the retina from sunlight.
Leafy green vegetables are the best veg in the garden in February. Examples are kale, spinach, cabbage and sprouting broccoli.
There are 3 types of sprouting broccoli:
The white broccoli has small white flowering tips.
These are snapped off when about 2″ long.
Steamed or boil them for 10-15 minutes for a very special veg.
Ours are about ready to harvest from February through to April.
The purple sprouters are a week or so later, & have a stronger taste.
The perpetual broccoli comes up year after year, so rather messes the rotation up. But it is easy to grow.
Beans are also important for eye health. Beans contain zinc, which is an essential element for healthy eyes.
Downy mildew of peas (Latin name – Pisum sativum) is caused by Peronospora
viciae, which also infects broad beans. Downy mildew is regarded as the
most common foliar disease of peas and is a major problem in the UK,
particularly in the east. Late-drilled peas are the worst affected.
Downy Mildew Symptoms in Spring Beans & Peas
Yellowish blotches appear on the leaves, with a pale mauve or brown
mould on the underside. Infected pods are spotted and distorted.
Downy mildew is more likely to appear when temperatures are below 10°C,
& when crops have been wet for more than 12 hours.
Downy Mildew Control in Spring Beans
* Crop rotation reduces the possibility of downy mildew
* Plants affected with downy mildew should be burnt after picking
* Sprays are available to control downy mildew. Although the disease
may be present when the crop is in flower, no benefit will accrue
from spraying at this time. Always follow the manufacturer’s
instructions on the spray container.