How do I plant broad beans?
Plant seeds about 5cm deep. Plant the next seed about 30cm away. Keep rows 60cm apart.
How do I look after broad beans?
Water the seeds and make sure the ground stays damp until the seedlings appear. It usually takes 10 to 20 days for this to happen.
Keep the seedlings watered as they grow, and remove any weeds. If you live in a windy place, you may need to provide support for the plants. This could be in the form of individual stakes for each plant, or a series of canes around the whole block of planting, with string tied between the canes to make a ‘fence’ for the beans.
How do I know when broad beans are ready to harvest?
It depends how you like to eat them. Once the pods are fairly long with beans inside, pop one open and have a look. If they look big enough for your liking pick them now, or wait a few more days if you want them to get a bit bigger. In general, the younger they are the more tender and sweet they will be.
How do I harvest broad beans?
Pick a pod by pulling it downwards from the stem of the plant – you may need to support the main plant while you do this.
Open the pod. Inside you will find up to 10 beans nestled in a fluffy white bed. Pop them out into a bowl.
How do I cook broad beans?
Put the beans into boiling water for 4 to 8 minutes, or steam for 5 to 10 minutes, and eat whole. Or you can peel each bean separately if the outer skin has gone a bit tough, or even make a puree by blending the cooked beans with a bit of olive oil and some garlic and pepper.
Any other information?
Some varieties of broad bean can be sown in the Autumn to provide a slightly earlier crop the following June. You might need to protect the young seedlings if the weather is very cold.