Broad beans can be sown in pots under cover from February onwards, for planting out in spring.Broad beans are easy to sow direct into the ground in March, April and even early May, for harvests throughout the summer.Dwarf varieties can also be sown in large containers filled with multi-purpose or loam-based compost and positioned in a sunny, sheltered spot. .
Expert advice on growing broad beans
Click here to adjust ALL dates in this website to be correct for your area of the UK and Ireland.Although broad beans prefer cool conditions it is important to grow them in full sun or partial shade because they will have finished cropping well before the July and August heat sets in.If the soil is fertile at planting time your broad beans won't need feeding again.Depending on the height of the variety you are growing and conditions in , wind may be an important factor.To help you decide if autumn sowing is an option in your area consider the diagram below showing average soil temperatures in the UK.If the temperature is high enough for just a couple of hours, the seeds will start the germination process.The ideal soil temperature for germinating broad bean seeds is about 12°C / 54°F but anywhere between 7°C / 45°F to 15°C / 59°F will give good results.As soon as the seedlings appear above the compost make sure to move the pots to a position which gets lots of light and is also cool, a temperature around 12°C / 54°F is ideal for growing on young broad bean plants.If the soil is poor add well-rotted compost or a couple of handfuls of blood fish and bone fertiliser to every square metre / yard.Sow a couple more seeds at the end of a row just in case one or two plants don't grow.Broad beans have two methods of pollination, important to know if you grow them in a greenhouse / polytunnel or under cloches.Insert a cane deep into the ground at each corner of the area where the beans are to be grown.Tie one or two rows of string around the corner posts to enclose the broad beans.The string / canes can be put in place at any time before the plants reach 60cm / 2 foot high.Insect activity in the flower will cause the stigma to spring open onto the pollen allowing fertilisation to occur.In some cases, where there is no insect activity, the stigma will ripen and spring open as a result of wind movement.Broad beans are best harvested when they are young and about the size of half an average thumbnail.At this stage the beans will have soft and tender skin and the flesh will be sweet and delicious.When your broad beans have finished cropping they can be dug up and placed on the compost heap.As a guide broad beans should be ready for harvest around the second week of June although this will depend on when the seeds were sown and the weather conditions.To harvest the beans, twist the pod and gently pull the stem until it is removed from the plant.Cultivation is the same as for growing in open ground although more watering will be required especially in warm and dry weather.One trick which significantly reduces the need for constant watering is to place a layer of small stones or wood chip on the surface of the soil in the container.We have dedicated an entire page to reviewing large number of broad bean varieties which can currently be grown in the UK.Click here to go there now.Broad Bean seeds will keep well for three or four years if stored in cool, dry and dark conditions.They are ready for storage when the pods turn brown and are "crispy" whilst they are still on the broad bean plant.If the beans are not totally dry and hard, wait another week before testing with another pod again.Broad Beans are very strong growing plants and suffer from very few pests and diseases in our experience. .
How to grow Broad Beans
Broad beans are a superb vegetable for modest-sized plots, producing high yields from a comparatively small area of your garden.The perfect vegetable for beginners or children to grow, they're happy in the ground, raised beds or pots.Broad bean 'Crimson Flowered' features stunning blooms and a delicious crop.There are many broad bean varieties from which to choose, including some that hold an RHS Award of Garden Merit.- A heritage, red flowered broad bean that makes an ideal edible ornamental.Broad Bean 'De Monica' - One of the earliest maturing varieties from a spring sowing.Grow your broad beans in full sun on rich, fertile, well-manured soil.If your soil is very wet or clay-based, start your broad bean plants off in pots to prevent the seeds from rotting in the ground.This long, tunnel cloche is ideal for rows of broad bean plants.However some varieties are particularly hardy and can be sown in autumn from October to November (provided that the soil is still reasonably warm).When sowing broad beans directly into the ground in early spring or late autumn, put your cloches out in advance to warm the soil.Broad bean seeds should be planted at a depth of 5cm (2") deep and a distance of 23cm (9") apart within each row.If you prefer to start your broad bean plants in the greenhouse, they can be sown into module trays or small pots.Germination tends to be more reliable under greenhouse conditions and it's easier to control pests such as mice, slugs and snails.Dwarf varieties such as Broad Bean 'The Sutton' are ideal for growing on the patio.They have deep root systems so choose a tall container to accommodate them, and be sure to keep them well watered throughout the growing season.Broad beans can be harvested and cooked as entire pods while they're still immature, at around 7.5cm (3") long.Companion planting the strong smelling herb, summer savory, can also help repel black bean aphids.Dark reddish or chocolate brown spots appear on the foliage and stems - in severe cases causing plants to die. .
How to Grow Autumn-Sown Broad Beans
The trees are trembling away their leaves with every passing breeze, herbaceous plants have turned to either a mush or a thicket of straw-like stems, and growth is slowly but surely grinding to a halt as the mercury drops.Quite why any seed would want to push out its juvenile roots into a soil flirting with freezing point is anyone’s guess, but it certainly works in the kitchen gardener’s favour.It means we can get a crop into the ground now in order to snap up a harvest of tender pods as soon as the end of spring.The seedlings may take some time to push through but rest assured things will be stirring beneath ground.If it gets really cold be on hand to cover your seedlings with a few layers of horticultural fleece until conditions improve.Longpod broad beans can be gangly plants, flopping about all over the place unless tamed with a girdle of string.Do this by pushing bamboo canes into the ground to create a double row of supports flanking each block of beans.This can take a little guesswork but a gentle squeeze of the pod case will give you a good idea as to the size of the beans inside.Boiled, pureed or turned into a rich (and heavenly moreish) soup, those keenly anticipated first beans of the year are by far the most delicious. .
Broad beans - when to sow and grow
Broad beans are a delicious vegetable that’s easy to grow and well worth the space in the garden.The flowers are highly perfumed, the roots trap nitrogen for the next crop, so broad beans are beneficial in many other ways apart from their eating qualities.Then improve the nutrient level of the soil with a light dressing of a general granular plant food.Masterpiece, Aquadulce and Exhibition Longpod are good, traditional varieties; Witkiem is a more recent introduction.A liquid feed applied over the foliage and around the roots every couple of weeks will ensure the plants are fed and watered at the same time and help improve cropping further.When the crop has finished, don’t pull up the roots, but simply cut off the stems at soil level and compost in the normal way.To harvest them for shelling, pick when the beans begin to show through the sides of the pod and before they get too big. .
Sow broad beans in autumn
Winter wet can rot their roots, however, so if you have very heavy clay soil, you will probably be better off waiting till spring to sow your seeds.This helps minimise the risks of your broad beans contracting the fungal disease chocolate spot.Their succulent, leafy tips rarely fail to attract blackfly and removing them helps counteract the aphids’ spread. .
When to plant broad beans - top tips
When growing any vegetables at home, you should factor in the time of year, as certain cops will not flourish during different seasons.Broad beans should be sown in spring or autumn, so roughly between the months of March and June, or September and October here in the UK.If you live in a cold area or have heavy, waterlogged soil then you will need to do things slightly differently to avoid seeds from rotting early on.Like other legumes, broad beans have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the nodules on their root system, which boost nitrogen levels in the soil.If you decide to grow beans again the following year, the crops you plant in the same ground will reap the benefits of these nutrients in the soil. .
How to grow broad beans: add these low-maintenance crops to your
Just grab a sheltered spot or some pots, some sunshine and the right support, and you’re all set for tender beans through summer and beyond.Quick to germinate, with scented flowers and crops that are loaded with nutrients, broad beans are lovely low-maintenance plants.The trick is picking the right type for the time of year, and making sure the spot you choose is sunny and well protected.Here we show you how to grow broad beans, plus how to harvest them at the right time for the most rewarding pickings, whatever your space.Heritage variety ‘Crimson Flowered’ produces striking scarlet blooms before cropping.Check the packet on your seeds for guidance on how to grow broad beans, but don’t worry if you haven’t started yet.In sheltered gardens with well-drained soils, broad beans like ‘Aquadulce Claudia’ can be sown in November.Autumn sowings germinate inside four weeks, and young plants come back to life in spring.Spring sowings of broad beans can be started in pots and planted out late May or June (Image credit: Alamy).Given the range of broad bean varieties (and start dates), you can eat fresh crops from early summer until October.Any sowings made in April will have plenty of time to mature over the peak warm season.Broad beans grow extensive root systems so you must sow deep, at least 5cm (2in) down and 20cm (8in) apart, depending on the variety.Good old toilet roll tubes can be used to keep young broad bean plants well contained – they make great eco-friendly pots!As you'll quickly discover when you learn how to grow broad beans, they have long roots.So if you are not sowing in situ (where they are to grow), you will get great results if you start them off in toilet roll holders.Taller broad bean varieties tend to flop as they grow, so keep them well supported with stakes and twine (Image credit: Alamy).The main thing to remember when learning how to grow broad beans is to choose a well-drained site that has been thoroughly dug and preferably improved with garden compost or well-rotted manure.However, take care not to grow broad beans in the same spot two years running, as this might increase the chances of root rot.Watering at other times is only needed during prolonged droughts, but further irrigation is wise on light soils.Pinching out tips is a good way to prevent blackfly on your young broad bean plants (Image credit: Alamy).Young broad bean plants are at risk from blackfly, a pest that is drawn to the tips and new growth.If growing conditions are very wet, you might see brown patches on broad bean leaves, called rust.To prevent this problem, space plants generously, avoid damp or humid sites, and keep the ground weed-free.There are lots of ways to tackle unwanted plants – our guide to how to weed a garden shows you how.You can make broad bean pâté: cook and remove the outer shells, then whizz up with some mint, lemon juice, salt, pepper and olive oil.Keep picking your broad beans at regular intervals as they don't all ripen at the same pace (Image credit: Alamy).An abundant cropper, early maturing, suitable for exposed positions, and ideal for successional sowings.This variety gives an excellent length of pod, often containing six or seven large green juicy beans.'Meteor' (and 'Meteor Vroma') is a richly yielding plant that produces long pods, and the beans are excellent eaten young.Use our quicklinks below to head straight to leading suppliers, and try some of our recommendations on how to grow broad beans in your garden.When you pinch out the growing shoot tips to deter blackfly, you can eat these leafy bits like spinach; they are lovely sautéed with butter.Head over to our small vegetable garden ideas and find out how to grow fruit and veg in any space. .
Some people suffer from favism, a hemolytic response to the consumption of broad beans, a condition linked to a metabolism disorder known as G6PDD.Otherwise the beans, with the outer seed coat removed, can be eaten raw or cooked.Along with lentils, peas, and chickpeas, they are believed to have become part of the eastern Mediterranean diet around 6000 BCE or earlier, however their wild ancestor has not been identified and their origin is unknown. They are still often grown as a cover crop to prevent erosion because they can overwinter and, as a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil.Large numbers of fava bean remains from the third millennium BCE appear in archaeological sites in the Mediterranean Basin and Central Asia.The broad bean has high plant hardiness; it can withstand harsh and cold climates.In mainland Europe and North Africa, the plant parasite Orobanche crenata (carnation-scented broomrape) can cause severe impacts on fields of broad beans, devastating their yields.This soil borne pathogen is mitigated by lower temperature, aeration, drainage, and sufficient nutrition.Symptoms include stunting, yellowing, necrotic basal leaves, and brown or red or black streak-shaped root lesions that growth together and may show above the soil as the disease progresses.Faba bean rust is a fungal pathogen commonly affecting broad bean plants at maturity, causing small orange dots with yellow halos on the leaves, which may merge to form an orange lawn on both leaf surfaces.Xanthomonas campestris and X. axonopodis can be inoculated by seed contamination and by overwintering in crop residue.A 100-gram reference amount supplies 1,425 kilojoules (341 kilocalories) of food energy and numerous essential nutrients in high content (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV).Fava beans present the highest protein-to-carbohydrate ratio among other popular pulse crops, such as chickpea, pea and lentil. Most of the relatively low toxin concentrations found in V. faba can be destroyed by boiling the beans for 10 minutes.Broad beans are rich in levodopa, and should thus be avoided by those taking irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors to prevent a pressor response.Sufferers of favism must avoid broad beans, as they contain the alkaloid glycoside vicine which may initiate a hemolytic crisis.Broad beans are generally eaten while still young and tender, enabling harvesting to begin as early as the middle of spring for plants started under glass or overwintered in a protected location, but even the main crop sown in early spring will be ready from mid to late summer.Horse beans, left to mature fully, are usually harvested in the late autumn, and are then eaten as a pulse.The beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savory, crunchy snack.Steamed fava beans (known as habitas) with cheese are common in the cold-weather regions of Ecuador, especially around the Andes mountains and surroundings of Ambato.Fava beans (Arabic: فول fūl pronounced [fuːl]) are a common staple food in the Egyptian diet, eaten by rich and poor alike.The most popular way of preparing them in Egypt is by taking the cooked and partially mashed beans and adding oil, salt, and cumin to them.The first is Hilibet, a thin, white paste of broad bean flour mixed with pieces of onion, green pepper, garlic, and other spices.The second is siljo, a fermented, sour, spicy thin yellow paste of broad bean flour.Baqella nifro (boiled broad beans) are eaten as a snack during some holidays and during a time of mourning.Gulban is made of peeled, half beans collected and well-cooked with other grains such as wheat, peas, and chickpeas.Boq'ullit (boiled, salted broad bean embryo) is one of the favorite snacks in the evening, the common story-telling time in north and central Ethiopia.The Greek word fáva (φάβα) does not refer to broad beans, but to the yellow split pea and also to another legume, Lathyrus clymenum.Broad beans are known instead as koukiá (Greek: κουκιά), and are eaten in a stew combined with artichokes, while they are still fresh in their pods.Dried broad beans are eaten boiled, sometimes combined with garlic sauce (skordalia).In Crete, fresh broad beans are shelled and eaten as a companion to tsikoudia, the local alcoholic drink.Favism is quite common in Greece because of malaria endemicity in previous centuries, and people afflicted by it do not eat broad beans.Broad beans, or "Baghalee" (Persian: باقالی) are primarily cultivated in the central and north parts of Iran.The city of Kashan has the highest production of broad beans with high quality in terms of the taste, cooking periods and color.When people have access to fresh beans in season, they cook them in brine and then add vinegar and Heracleum persicum depending on taste.In Iran, broad beans are cooked, served with Golpar-origan and salt and sold on streets in the winter.Fool (فول) is another common breakfast dish in Iraq as well as many other Arab countries and consists of mashed fava beans.Another famous Iraqi dish is Timmen Bagilla (تمن باگله), which is Arabic for 'broad bean rice'.In Rome, fava beans are popular either cooked with guanciale or with globe artichokes, as side dish together with lamb or kid, or raw with Pecorino romano.Fave e Pecorino is the traditional dish for 1 May picnic in Liguria, Tuscany, Marche, Umbria and Latium.Judd mat Gaardebounen, or smoked collar of pork with broad beans, is the national dish of Luxembourg.They are a primary ingredient of the Maltese kusksu, a vegetable soup primarily containing fava beans and pasta beads.They are also used in an appetizer called bigilla where they are served as a pureé mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and mint.In Morocco, fava beans are cooked, steamed or made into tabiṣart, a dip sold as a street food.Fava beans (Peruvian Spanish: haba(s)) are eaten fresh or dried toasted, boiled, roasted, stewed or in soup.Habas are one of the essential ingredients of "Pachamanca" in the Andes of Peru, and are also an additive for "Panetela", which is a homemade remedy to keep your child fed and hydrated in cases of diarrhea or stomach infection and even for cholera treatment.Broad bean aspic (Serbian: bobove pihtije) is a Serbian winter dish in which the pureed cooked beans are combined with crushed garlic and set in a mould, topped with ground paprika in hot oil.Culinary uses vary among regions, but they can be used as the main pulse in a stew (fabada asturiana, habas estofadas, michirones) or as an addition to other dishes (menestra, paella).For most Sudanese they form the main dish during breakfast time (fatoor), especially more so for city and urban dwellers.For additional flavour, sesame oil is added along with a sprinkling of jibna ("feta" cheese) on top.In Syria, broad beans are prepared in multiple ways for breakfast, lunch or dinner.Ful Medames is the same as the Egyptian dish (it is not mashed though) but with the addition of tomato, parsley and onion and with olive oil.Another version of it includes the addition of tahini (sesame paste), olive oil, garlic and lemon.For lunch, broad beans are cooked with a mix of minced and big chunks of meat and is topped on white rice and eaten with cold yogurt and cucumber salad.This is also the name of a zeytinyağlı dish made by simmering young and tender broad bean pods with chopped onions in olive oil.Another popular dish is fava, a meze prepared by soaking and boiling shelled dried broad beans until soft and then pureeing with olive oil and optionally fresh dill.The puree is left to set overnight, and served cold, garnished with dill and slices of lemon.Broad beans are also cooked with artichoke (Enginarlı İç Bakla) which is another zeytinyağlı dish.In Southern Vietnam, fava beans (đậu móng heo) are usually stir fried with rice noodles, durians, shrimps, Thai basil, quail eggs and pig intestines in a dry stew called hủ tiếu lòng heo. .
How to Grow Fall-Planted Fava Beans
The trees are trembling away their leaves with every passing breeze, herbaceous plants have turned to either a mush or a thicket of straw-like stems, and growth is slowly but surely grinding to a halt as the mercury drops.Quite why any seed would want to push out its juvenile roots into a soil flirting with freezing point is anyone’s guess, but it certainly works in the kitchen gardener’s favor.It means we can get a crop into the ground now in order to snap up a harvest of tender pods as soon as the end of spring.The seedlings may take some time to push through but rest assured things will be stirring beneath ground.If it gets really cold be on hand to cover your seedlings with a few layers of horticultural fleece until conditions improve.Longpod fav beans can be gangly plants, flopping about all over the place unless tamed with a girdle of string.Do this by pushing bamboo canes into the ground to create a double row of supports flanking each block of beans.This can take a little guesswork but a gentle squeeze of the pod case will give you a good idea as to the size of the beans inside.Boiled, pureed or turned into a rich (and heavenly moreish) soup, those keenly anticipated first beans of the year are by far the most delicious. .