Yesterday, I ran along my Broadbean row, and like a good girl, I pinched out the tips from each plant. I was pleased with the results until I realised that I didn’t actually know why I’d just done it. I had some vague recollection of reading it somewhere in a book and that it had something to do with blackfly.
So I looked it up. Apparently, the main reason why you should nip out the tips is that it redirects the plant’s energy into setting fruit, rather than growing taller. So you should only nip out the tips once three or four trusses of flowers have appeared.
Secondly, nipping out the tips takes away the part of the plant that is most susceptible to blackfly attack and therefore discourages a future attack. If you already have blackfly then you’ll be removing most of them as you nip. So, everyone’s a winner, as they say.
Lastly, you can cook the tips (providing they are not infested with blackfly, of course). Wash and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Then treat like Spinach or Greens. I might try some.
So now I know why I’m pinching out the tips of my broadbeans I can be reassured that I’m doing the right thing. Yes…it’s much better to have all of the information, all of the time.