The good and the bad of growing broad beans

Regularly over the years I have sown broad beans and harvested a nice little crop sufficient to freeze some for later eating.  But I missed the past couple of years. Not to be deterred and with a goodly quantity of old seeds, I limed the ground and popped in the seeds (some I soaked in advance but most went straight into the ground). I wished and hoped and wished some more that these old bean seeds would still want to grow.  After nearly four months the result at the back of my house amounts to three plants up but looking sad and not thriving. The nearby self-sown oats, and the potatoes from kitchen scraps laid under the mulch, are doing better.

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Out the front of my house many more broad bean seeds germinated but they seem locked in a time warp and haven’t moved upwards for weeks.

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I almost hate online sites that tell me ‘broad beans grow like crazy over the winter months’!   Yes I know I know I know – mine were old seeds.  But …

Meanwhile I have talked with friends who grow their own. C is not happy with hers, despite them looking higher and stronger than mine, and puts the problem down to the loss of afternoon sun because of the shade provided by an increasingly higher natural fence nearby.

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F’s broad beans are the best of the bunch and seem to be on their way.

Broad beans

 

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4 Responses to The good and the bad of growing broad beans

  1. Nei Morrison says:

    Hi Helen,

    My step-father always put his broad beans in around late March/April so they were usually up about as high as yours by the time winter hit – it also seemed to avoid them getting black spot.

    I planted some for my mum in late March and they already have flowers forming on some. We’ve also tried a dwarf variety that grow no taller than a meter and they’re doing well. Definitely full sun helps but the photos I sent you last week are of the beans in one of our wine barrels and they are only getting early morning sun – if there is any .

    Cheers

    Neil

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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    • Hi Neil I planted mine late April this year; cant remember what I have done in the past. In the last week since I took these photos those of mine out front in the all day sun have grown a little. Ah well – lessons learnt. Dont use old seed and plant earlier!!!!

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  2. Graeme says:

    My broad bean plants have thrived and are now over a metre high. During the last 3 or 4 weeks the plants have have produced numerous folders but sadly no beans. Could someone advise me what maybe the problem.

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    • Hi Graeme Do you mean they have grown pods and there are no beans in the pods? If so how large are the pods? The beans are very very tiny at the beginning and then gradually flesh out and become the large bean we all love. I a very curious about this.

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