A Borlotti Bean Mishap – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

I’m a bit gutted. I think my amazing crop of borlotti beans is doomed… so far I’ve had to get rid of about 50% and I’m not feeling confident about the others. I have, however, learnt a valuable lesson: Don’t leave it too late to harvest your beans!

Here’s what happened…my borlotti beans took a long time to get going this year, so come the end of September, when I would normally think about harvesting them, they were still producing lots of flowers and the beans were still quite young and green (rather than mature and purple). I decided to leave them a bit longer. The autumn settled in, the wind and rain came in with alarming frequency! I kept waiting for a warmer, dryer spell, wanting my beans to dry out on the plants, so I just left them to grow. Therein lies my mistake…I should have just harvested them and taken them inside to dry out asap. Instead, they got wetter and wetter, so when I finally harvested them at the weekend, they pods were more or less rotting, and many of the beans inside were squishy and brown too.

I salvaged what I could, podded them and laid them out on trays in front of the woodburner to dry out. After a few days, I’ve had to throw out quite a few more that have started to go mouldy. I’ve got everything crossed hoping that the rest will dry out quickly and stay mould-free but I fear I may be unlucky, as more are turning yellow.

Moral of the story…don’t leave your borlotti beans out for too long!!