How to Grow Broad Beans
Broad Beans are one of the easiest vegetables to grow. 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.
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 Bean ‘The Sutton’ or Unwins Broad Bean ‘Aquadulce’. Broad beans can be sown in situ or individually into modules.
NOTE: Broad bean seeds can also be sown directly into the garden soil. Make a shallow trench in well prepared garden soil and sow the seeds into this spacing them so that they are about 15-20cm (6-8inches) apart. Cover over with soil and keep moist.
Fill large modules or root trainers with a quality seed sowing compost. Choose Gro-Sure Seed & Cutting Compost.
Using a dibber make holes in the compost inside each module to a depth of about 2.5cm (1inch).
Sow individual seeds into each hole and then cover over with more compost. Firm gently. Keep the compost slightly moist and in an unheated propagator in an unheated greenhouse or cold frame.
The seedlings will normally start to germinate within 7-14 days. When the seedlings are 7.5-10cm (3-4inches) tall they can be planted out into the garden. Remove them carefully from their modules so you do not disturb the roots.
Plant them individually into holes the same size as the root ball. Leave about 20cm (8inches) between each plant. Water well. Apply a general fertiliser such as organic Chicken Manure Pellets. Keep the seedlings watered until they establish. When the first pods develop pinch out the growing tip of the plant and use in salads and stir fries. Harvest the pods when you can feel the beans inside by pressing gently on the pods.