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Yard long bean failure question

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I tried yard long beans this year for the first time.

A friend sent some seed she had left, I am not sure the variety. She planted hers about when I did, around first of June, I think. She harvested lots of beans, I never had one, and I don't think there were any flowers till a week or so ago, when I noticed two.

We are in similar zones, but different states. I know she fertilizes regularly, where I don't do much, but my soil has had a decent amount if organic stuff added through the years. I put the seed under a 4-5 foot fence that is at the edge of what used to be a daylily bed, where I have grown tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar pod peas the last couple years. Should have full sun from 10-11a.m. to 5-6 p.m. And dappled sun a couple hours before and after that.

The vines seemed healthy, green... Had a few holes in early on, but found no pests on them to speak of. The vines have grown to perhaps 15-18 feet, and I keep winding them back onto the fence.

They seem to get the start of buds, but the buds do not mature to flowers.

A neighbors wife is from Thailand, and moved here a year ago. She is growing long beans that they bought the seed at a local nursery, and started a few weeks before mine. I think they started theirs in 6 packs, then put in the ground about when i direct seeded mine. Theirs get more shade - maybe only 6 hours of sun on a good day, no fertilizer, have had no soil amendments. Yet... They had a lot of beans. She has grown the beans since she was a child. Her English is still not good... She keeps looking at my vines and says they are "broken" "not know why" She looks at the place where the little buds are and then looks at me... "flowers here!- but no!??!"

Is there something my soil would be lacking to keep the flowers from forming? This has been a garden area for 25 years. But I do add compost, alfalfa pellets, bark mulch, peat, chopped grass, cover crops, etc, and till this in whenever the area is empty enough to turn it over. Daylilies, peonies, daffodils grow a foot away on the other side of the fence, and yet the tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, zucchini grew well a couple feet away on the same side of the fence.

This soil is not Ohio Clay... It is an area that is 3 feet high of raised garden, maybe 35 x 40 that was made years ago by mixing compost, swamp muck, sharp sand, peat, woods dirt, horse manure, mushroom compost, some clay, stripped off sod... pretty much everything good I could get my hands on, then lasagna layering on top of that another 5 years or so. It's black, nice textured worm heaven soil. That does not mean that it has not worn out in all these years, or is lacking something under the fence line that the beans want.

The only other thing I wonder about is... they are pretty close to a good size line of daffodil bulbs that goes along the other side of the fence. Would daffs do something that would affect the flowering of beans?

Thinking if amendment is in order, I might want to do it this fall.

I might be able to get photos, if it would be helpful.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I've never grown yard long beans. Since there are other one raised successfully near you it doesn't sound like a weather problem like too cool. I'm going to make a guess and think you soil may be too rich in nitrogen, which keep them in a growth phase and not a reproductive phase.

Anna, IL(Zone 6b)

My yard long beans produced like crazy all summer - are you sure of your seed? Mine may not get as much sun as what you had mentioned for yours. I know beans like lime. The yard longs I plant have tiny black seeds. My Big Mama pole limas take forever to bloom and put on beans. I almost wish the season was longer for them.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

Im also guessing it could be a seed problem or lack of phosphorus. P is an essential ingredient in flower and fruit or seed production. Too much Nitrogen could also be a problem. Since most beans are nitrogen fixers very little N is needed.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)

I think the seeds were good, as the person who sent them to me did get a good crop from the rest of the packet that they planted where they live.

Hmm. Maybe I should break down and get a soil sample and send in. I have not done that in a long time.

Just seemed so odd to me that most of the summer, there were what looked like the start of flower buds, but they just didn't mature. This happened for weeks. Then when I went out a couple days ago, I noticed two flowers. I almost could not believe it. Finally - flowers! Of course, I am a few days away from our expected fall frost date, so no chance of getting a bean... but.....

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Too much Nitrogen and not enough Phosphorus, I'd place money on it. I grow them every year, along with other beans. Beans don't need a rich soil. If anything use a fertilizer with a high middle #. Long beans love hot weather.

Newark, OH(Zone 5b)


I still need to call my county extension office about a soil test. Been years since I have done one.

It just seemed so odd.... Plants, and what looked like starts of buds... Then nothing.

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