- If you select a hardy variety, broad beans will most likely be the first vegetable you sow on the plot.
- As long as the final growing position is well sheltered, broad beans will be happy. They will grow in full sun or part shade, I always grow in full sun to guarantee the best harvest.
- Broad beans like fertile and well-draining soil.
- Broad beans are one of the first crops to be ready to harvest in the garden. If well planned you can harvest from spring to autumn.
- The white and black flowers are very decorative and fragrant which will attract pollinators. You can even get purple flowering varieties.
Sowing & Growing
-To get the earliest crop possible, if you live in a milder area you can sow a hardy variety in autumn ready for an early spring harvest.
- To guarantee the plants get a good head start I like to sow in seed modules under cover or in a greenhouse.
- If you are sowing directly, the seeds will appreciate the soil being warmed by fleece or a cloche a few weeks before sowing.
- Personally I would sow inside the greenhouse in modules or simply wait until early spring for better outside sowing conditions.
- The final spacing should be 20cm apart in at least double rows 25cm apart.
- Once the pods start to appear make sure to support the plant. They can get very top heavy and snap in the wind.
- If you are growing over winter I highly recommend using a frost fleece when frost is forecast.
- Water well especially when flowering, I recommend 2 very big soaks a week , water containers daily. Protect with canes and string to stop them blowing over.
- When the first pods come along, pinch out the top of the growing stem. This should help boost the crop, while also keeping blackfly at bay.
- If you have removed the tips of the plant, don’t throw them away as they are beautiful steamed.
-Pick the beans when they are the size of the thumb nail to avoid starchy taste.
- Cut back the plant to the roots then simply leave the plant to rot, like most beans this will add nitrogen.
Aguadulce: super hardy
Crimson flowered: rich red flowers
Red epicure: deep red beans
Sutton: Dwarf variety