Broad Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. Young shoots and pods can be eaten straight from the plant. You can eat the fresh shoots in salads, add them to stir fires or let the plants develop and produce a healthy crop of pods full of delicious sweet beans.
Sowing Broad Beans
Broad beans are hardy and can either be sown in October and November or from February under cloches. For autumn sowing choose to grow Unwins Broad Beans ‘The Sutton’ or Unwins Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce’. For Spring sowing choose ‘Bunyards Exhibition’ or for superb colour and taste try ‘Red Epicure’.
Broad beans can be sown in situ or individually into modules of Gro-Sure Seed & Cutting Compost. For more details see our guide on How to Grow Broad Beans. Don’t forget to allow space for canes to be used for support between drills.
Hoe regularly to prevent weeds taking hold. Start feeding once flowers appear with organic Potato & Vegetable Feed. As soon as the pods start swelling keep watering well, particularly in hot, dry weather.
When the first beans start forming pinch off the top 2-3 inches of stem. This will encourage an early harvest and help to prevent blackfly attack.
Harvesting Broad Beans
Harvesting is usually June to September and beans are ready when they have begun to show through the pod. After harvesting dig the plants back into the soil as they are a great green manure.
Storing Broad Beans
Broad Beans are so tasty when picked straight from the plant, but any excess can be frozen for future use. They can also be dried.