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Growing Beans - broad beans, fava beans, also Fava bean

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
              P P      

(Best months for growing Beans - broad beans, fava beans in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 43°F and 75°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 12-22 weeks. Pick frequently to encourage more pods.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dill, Potatoes
  • Broad bean flowering
    Broad bean flowering
  • Egyptian broad beans
    Egyptian broad beans
  • Young beans on plant
    Young beans on plant
  • Young broad bean plant
    Young broad bean plant

It is a rigid, erect plant 0.5-1.7 m tall, with stout stems with a square cross-section. The leaves are 10-25 cm long, pinnate with 2-7 leaflets, and of a distinct glaucous grey-green color. Harvest 90 - 160 days depending on how cold the weather is.

In windy areas it is best to provide some support with posts and string, otherwise the plants will fall across each other. Pick the tops out once beans start setting to prevent blackfly.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beans - broad beans, fava beans

The fresh beans are eaten steamed or boiled. As the beans mature it is better to remove their tough outer skins after cooking.
The leafy top shoots of the adult plants can be picked and steamed after flowering.
Small beans can be eaten whole in the pods.
Broad beans will freeze well. Remove from pods and blanch.

Your comments and tips

10 Jul 10, Keenonveg (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
I have had good results from autumn planted BBs over the years, but for the last two years the plants have only flowered on the bottom few inches. Those flowers produced nice pods, but were gone in a fortnight, with no more to follow! What am I doing wrong????
19 Jul 09, Emma (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
To Ben & Tony, if you have had flowers then I'm sure you will get pods. The flowers drop off and then the pods will form, just give it a bit more time ! Tony, I've done square foot gardening this year and I crammed 6 plants into a square foot and had a great crop. Patience is truly a virtue when it comes to gardening !
17 Jul 09, ben (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
there have been no beans only flowers falling off can u help me so email me at [email protected] thanks
17 Jul 09, Emma (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
Good luck Marion, hope you get a decent crop. Pinching the tops out is supposed to help deter the blackfly too. Did you know you can eat the tops like baby spinach? They're nice steamed and tossed in some butter and seasoning.
15 Jul 09, Emma (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
Marion, if you have lovely flowers then you'll probably have lovely pods too - eventually !! My pods appeared about 5 months after I planted them but it was a cold wet winter here in Blighty. I think you may need a little more patience but it will be worth it. They're lovely when young with some mint, new potatoes and feta cheese. Yum :-))
10 Jun 09, Emma (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
Delia - are there any flowers yet? You get flowers first and then the beans. I plant my beans in the winter in November and they don't start producing beans until April. It's only been a couple of months so you might need a bit more patience ! Good luck :-))
06 Jun 09, Emma (United Kingdom - warm/temperate climate)
If you are affected by aphids/blackfly if you pinch the top of the plant off when the first pods have set then you should avoid this. Don't compost the tops though, they are delicious lightly steamed and tossed in butter and salt and pepper. My broad beans are coming to the end now and only a couple have blackfly, looking at it from the other side of the coin though it does attract the ladybirds !! Good luck !
10 Jun 10, bella (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
I have sprayed mine with washing up liquid and water, hopefully that will help

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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