Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone can help me identify this pest and help me treat my beans. Every time I grow beans they seem to take off and then once they start flowering the leaves start to wilt and drop off and tumourous growths appear around where the leaves join the stems and sometimes at the base of the plant. I thought it was something I was doing wrong the first two times but this time I decided not to blame myself as I planted them in good soil in a position they love. Managed to get them growing really well but then the same thing happened. I picked off a couple of leaves that were wilting and found tiny bugs/larvae inside. They have a brownish/creamy casing and a very tiny - about 1-2mm long. I'm presuming this is the problem but can't seem to find any info about it or how to treat the beans online.

Any pearls of wisdom??

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Sounds almost good enough to eat! If you have a blender, would that speed up the making of the spray?

I'm not too sure about eating neem but a blender would certainly help! Especially when making in bulk. As it is, I only chop enough for a day's use as I don't know the effective shelf/refrigerated life of a DIY pesticide containing garlic and chilli.

Would anyone know?

No worries! :)

I fried up some of the beans for dinner. They're simply delicious! I'm glad I decided to give it another go. It wasn't long ago I was ready to give up on beans completely.

Check out my collection of fish hooks and green worms!

Is this a problem with a lack of boron? 

Yes, as I recall from something similar posted on this forum earlier on.

This morning's harvest of bush beans. They are harvested every second day. The plants are fed a regular diet of seasol and potassium. I've started experimenting with comfrey juice - which is said to have a very high concentration of natural potassium. I think the beans think it's rum!

Very nice Joseph!  Be sure to save some seeds.

Excellent beans Joseph :-) Ah Comfrey juice ... how do you make that? Comfrey tea I know about but not juice.

It may be the same thing?

I collect the "juice" by stuffing shredded comfrey leaves and stalks into a bottle with a stone for weight. As the leaves disintegrate, the liquid is collected at the bottom through a hole drilled into the bottle cap. See picture below.

My understanding is that when soaked in water comfrey makes a really bad stink, but when done this way there's no smell at all (I can attest to that!).

Mmm! Fascinating system for extracting nutrients ... Comfrey and anything else which is anaerobic (without oxygen) attracts anaerobic bacteria and they give off the offensive smell. If the end of the bottle is removed and it must be to allow the stone to be put there, then oxygen is in the bottle and the liquid is open to the air so that's taken care of the conditions. A creative solution to a usually vexed issue of stink :-) well done Joseph!

Thanks Elaine but I can't claim credit for the idea. I found it on the internet.

Elaine, I remember you saying you've grown comfrey for many years. When is the best time to subdivide the roots? Should I wait until autumn? Thanks.

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