Broad Beans

Growing advice and tips from Marshalls Seeds
Everyone can grow broad beans. They produce a huge crop, are not fussy about soil, are one of the first bean crops to be sown and in some areas they can be sown in autumn for an even earlier crop.

Sowing Indoors

From February to May, seeds can also be sown individually 2.5cm (1in) deep, in 8cm (3in) pots of seed compost. After sowing, place pots in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse. Keep moist but not saturated. Gradually accustom plants to outside conditions before setting them out from April onwards to their cropping positions at the spacings given above. This often gives an earlier crop than outdoor sowings.

Sowing Outdoors
Sow individual seeds 5cm (2in) deep and 10cm (4in) apart. Broad beans are usually sown in double rows about 25cm (10in) apart. Allow 60cm (24in) between each set of double rows.

Aftercare
To deter blackfly (sometimes a problem on broad beans) pinch out the growing tips of the plants when they are in full flower.

Special Notes / Harvest
Pick them as young as possible for the very best flavour. When very young, they can be cooked and eaten in their pods. Broad beans are delicious cooked, cooled and used in salads too.