Broad beans are another one of my favourite crops to grow; before we had an allotment I don’t think we even had broad beans in our diets. Now though we use them for hummus, bean salads, and we also add them in with the carrots and broccoli as part of a cooked dinner too. Broad beans store really well in the freezer which means you can enjoy them all year round.
This year we have sown two varieties, the first is called Aquadulce Claudia which is early maturing. We sowed these in late January as they cope well with the cold weather and could allow us to harvest as early as May. You can view our video of sowing broad beans these by following this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3ue8exOCeQ&t=4s.
We sow our board beans straight into the ground. Using a dibber I make holes around 20 -25cm apart and 5cm down. I then usually give the seeds to the boys to place one in each hole and cover with the surrounding soil. Be prepared though if sowing straight in to the ground that you might be provided some tasty food in the cold weather for any resident mice, for this reason we have planted a few extra beans.
It’s important to leave enough space between the rows so you can get between them to pick the large pods from the plants. The boys love hunting for the bean pods amongst the tall plants and bushy leaves, I recall joey referring to our board bean patch last year as ‘The Bean Jungle’.
More recently we have also sown a second sowing off Aquadulce Claudia with an aim to get a staggered harvest season. We have also sowed our second variety of broad beans called Karmazyn. Karmazyn beans are stunning red shades that are hidden inside fresh green pods.
Broad beans are easy to grow and once sown take little care. Broad beans should make an appearance in around 10-15 days after sowing. We don’t use any support with our board beans and they are generally just left to do their thing. We have had cases in the past of black fly but this was easily remedied with some homemade soap spray.
To see a video of us harvesting our broad beans last year you can follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApqeYINS8dQ