Ml. McClanahan

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since May 23, 2020
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Recent posts by Ml. McClanahan

Matt Mill wrote:I don't have an answer, but can share a similar experience. I'm growing runner beans for the second time this summer. Last year, mine flowered and dropped the flowers as you describe for a long time before they ever set beans—we might have had a month of flowering before I saw a single bean start to form. This year, it's a little better—I have one bean, last I checked—but the same thing is happening to an extent.

My best guess last year was that it was related to heat. I'm on the southern edge of where runner beans will grow in zone 6b, and I have read they can struggle to set fruit when it's too hot. So depending on where you're located that might be worth considering as a factor. They did eventually set a crop for me, though, so hopefully they will for you too!

I read about hot nights being a cause, but it's definitely not that as it's winter here. Unless cold nights can do the same thing.

I can only think the bees aren't pollinating. I haven't been around during the day to try and see.
So being my first time growing these I'm not really sure when to expect the bean formation. Right now I have a few clusters of red flowers, where some have opened up and seem to be shriveling/drying up a few days later. So I'm guessing these are failed beans? Have been reading about the possible reasons behind failed pods and none seem to obviously apply to me. I did notice today however, a bit higher up on the plant, that the main stem was damaged where I cable tied it to the pole a bit too tightly. The leaves above are alive so the life in the stem must not be completely severed, but it does look ropey and dried out there. Anyway, I'm wondering if this could be the reason behind the failed pods? Is the plants energy going elsewhere because of that damage maybe?
Got some very pretty scarlet emperors with their red flowers starting to grow and open up. I only just realized though I have no idea where to expect the beans? Do the flowers turn in to them eventually, or what? I could of course just wait it out to see for myself, but I'm too curious. Tried looking at a few images/videos, but it's hard to tell.
Seems there's a tonne of differing opinions on this online, whether earthworms are a good idea for container plants or not, but I was thinking I'd at least like to try it out. I found some massive ones today. Problem is, worms always seem to die on me within minutes, and I've never understood why. I'm super gentle digging them out, then gently place them in a few inches down in the container soil. Sure, the surface layer of the soil was probably far too dry for a worm, but I figured they'd just dig downward? What I always find however is the dead bodies pretty much in the same spot I placed them. It's like they don't even try to survive. Could someone enlighten me on how to not be a serial worm murderer? Even if it turns out to be bad idea anyway, I'm still curious why this has always happened. As long as I can remember, even childhood, earthworms have always gone limp and died within just a few minutes.
I just emptied a small pail I was using for compost. It has holes drilled into the sides and top/bottom. Would the side holes negatively effect growing plants in it? They aren't big enough for much soil to spill out, but I was wondering more about insects and over-aeration if that's even possible?
I keep reading about 5-10-10 fertilisers being good for root vegetables (trying to grow swede/rutabagas), but I can't seem to actually find any available? Or maybe they are and I'm just being dumb. Could someone take a look at some Australian stores for me ( is the main garden store here) and link me to something suitable? The best I can find is this which doesn't seem to have any nitrogen or potassium at all? Don't I want something with all three but in the right ratio? Should I use a regular all rounder fertiliser AND this to balance it out? I'm just afraid of killing my young swedes by giving them the wrong thing.
My runner bean plant has just surpassed the height of the pole it's on. How should I deal with the excess?
Quick question about fertilizing. I was told to dilute my liquid fertilizer by half from what the packaging says when giving to my runner bean seedlings, but now that they're getting bigger I'm wondering at what point should I stop diluting? I suppose you'd say they're at teenager stage right now. Not baby plants but not adults either. Should you only give the full dosage to adult plants as a general rule?
You guys seem to be right. It seems to be growing upwards now, yay. Never thought it could just be recovering itself so I learned something here too. Thanks!
Hello. Newbie grower and member of the site here. So I'm noticing that my month old scarlet emperor plant hasn't been getting any taller for at least the last week, or if it has the height growth has been negligible. It IS growing lots of nice green leaves, but shouldn't it also be getting taller? Is this a normal phase of its growth cycle or is it lacking in something?

To give some history on the plant in case it's of importance, it was one of four seedlings. They all showed signs of chlorosis at about 1 week old so as instructed by someone I applied iron chelate and fertiliser (diluted by half). I think I did wrong by sprinkling the fertiliser on the leaves as well as the soil as three of the plants' leaves suddenly went bad after that (chemical burn/leaf scorch?) and eventually died. This one plant survived though by growing new leaves. But I'm starting to wonder why it's not getting taller even though it otherwise looks very healthy?

Thanks for any advice.