Broad Beans

Ease of Growing [Scale 1-5] - 1 (Easy)

How Time Consuming

Fairly low maintenance, just need to be staked when 10cm/4” tall, tips pinched out and kept weed free.

Recommended Varieties   

  • Organic ‘Super Aquadulce’ – good variety for sowing in mid to late Autumn for early harvest in Spring. Winter hardy.
  • ‘Sutton’ – Popular dwarf variety, good for smaller gardens, prolific cropper and ideal for exposed sites and containers.

Home Grown Vs Supermarket

Always home grown, commercial growers tend to leave the beans too long before harvesting becoming big and shelly when cooked.

Best Sites and Soils

Grow in a sunny sheltered site in well drained fertile soil. They need protection from wind and staking to support the weight of the growing pods. 

When to sow

Can be sown in rootrainers in late autumn to have young plants (8cm/3” high) ready for hardening off and planting out in early to mid Spring. Alternatively, sow seed outside in early spring (depending on weather). If soil temperature is low use polythene to cover and aid germination.
Successional sowings are advised to prolong the harvest.  When previous sowing has reached a height of 15-20cm (6-8”) the next crop can be sown.
Distance between rows - Double rows 23cm/9” apart.
Distance between plants - 23cm / 9” apart.

When to harvest

Harvest when young when the beans are beginning to show through the pod not bursting out.  If you leave them longer they will become tough and will need to be double shelled to be enjoyed.