Friday, January 31

The broader picture

We have never gone in for sowing broad beans in autumn time as we have found a spring sowing generally works for us and we usually have plenty of broad beans stored in the freezer to mean that it is a vegetable that in one way or another we are rarely without.


Last year we grew three varieties - Witkiem Manita, Masterpiece Long Greenpod and Crimson Flowered.


All the broad beans were planted in the same bed through weed control fabric.


We didn't need to do any weeding at all. The harvesting table doesn't really fairly compare the harvests from each variety as we stopped picking the Masterpiece Longpod as by that stage we had a freezer full of beans and had plenty of other vegetables to harvest.


You will notice that we didn't harvest any Crimson Flowered beans but this wasn't because they didn't produce any beans. As I mentioned we had already harvested enough and to be honest, although we do usually harvest beans from the plants, we grow the crimson beans more as a novelty.
The beans from these plants weren't wasted as we harvested them as seed for planting this year.

All in all, on our plot, we had a good year for broad beans and we will be growing the same varieties next year.


Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

24 comments:

  1. I'm not bothering with broad beans this year. We all prefer either runner beans or French beans so I'd rather give the space to them. I sowed last year's broad beans in autumn but because of the cold start to 2013, they languished in the greenhouse somewhat and weren't as strong as they could have been when planted out. They did recover, but I don't think you lose anything by sowing in spring.

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    1. We are happy just to sow in spring, Jo. No use growing something you don't enjoy.

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  2. I like the idea of an autumn sowing but I never get round to it. I shall have to get a wriggle on & get mine sown soon. I have grown the crimson flowered ones before if I remember correctly I got a lovely crop I might buy some again.

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    1. The red flowered varieties create some interest from other plot holders, Jo.

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  3. I've just gone with Aquadulce Claudia which were sown last year. I seem to have far more issues with black fly when sowing in Spring.

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    1. I'll probably regret saying this, Victoria but we have never seemed to have a blackfly problem.. I guess that has just tempted fate!

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  4. I have a few plants in my veggie patch, they are growing well due to the mild winter. I do enjoy eating them but I also love the scent of the flowers. Those red ones do look pretty, are they scented too? xxx

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    1. They do have a lovely scent don't they, Snowbird. To be honest I've never checked whether the red ones are also scented - they grow in the same bed and so scent comes from the bed. I'll have to sniff the individual varieties this year.

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  5. We grew them over the winter last year, keeping them in the greenhouse in the cold months, but they were too lanky when we planted them out, so it's Spring sowing for me this year!

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    1. It's one of the reasons we don't plant in autumn, Jill. The light levels are low and so lankiness seems inevitable.

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  6. We absolutely love Broad Beans (well, most beans actually), so I always grow some. I always sow them in the Spring too. Keeping them alive and well over Winter seems too much like hard work to me. I just wish sometimes that I had an allotment so that I could grow a bigger quantity.

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    1. You don't fancy putting in for an allotments for when you retire then, Mark?

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  7. I shall no doubt grow some this year, but like you I didn't do an autumn planting as I've had mixed success. It all depends on what kind of winter it is. I still have a few precious beans left in the freezer. I'm eeking them out!

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    1. This year autumn planted seeds may do well, CJ but it has been a plant friendly winter so far.

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  8. I'm growing broad beans for the 1st time this year - have got mine stowed in the cold frame and so far haven't killed them off. Great tip about planting through the weed control fabric, hadn't thought of that - might try a Spring sowing as well and see how I get on.
    Cathy
    http://allotmentinmygarden.wordpress.com/

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    1. Welcome chayes and thank you for commenting. If you search through my post for weed control fabric, you will find that we used it a lot last year.

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  9. Here, the broad beans only planted on highland (more than 1000 meters from sea level). It will be processed to so many kind of snacks.

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    1. We just use ours as a vegetable, Endah.

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  10. Broad beans are one of my favourite veg and home grown will always beat shop bought for freshness and flavour.I sow mine direct in April as transplanted ones always seem to be a bit leggy and take time to recover from the move.Last year I grew a purple flower/purple bean variety Karmazyn ,a good mid size plant which didn't need support but taste wise not up with the usual green varieties.
    I pinch out a good junk of the growing tips to guard against blackfly and it seems to work.
    This winter I've noticed on a couple of the allotment plots that the broad beans which were cut in late summer are producing a second growth which might rebean.Biennials?

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    1. That's interesting David as we left the roots of our plants in the soil - I'll have to check them. If they were biennial wouldn't they need a second season to set seed?

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  11. I like broad beans but they are rather difficult to grow in most of North America. At first they are fine but it usually gets too hot too soon. Regular beans and tomatoes love it but not broad beans.

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    1. You seem to get extreme temperatures at both ends of the scale, Alain.

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  12. I had a good year for broad beans too and still have some in the freezer. As a rule I do sow in the autumn and then fill gaps the following spring but last year I seriously ran out of time so nothing is started...even now...I really need to get on with it!!

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    1. We're in no rush. Tanya. I think if you can sow your seeds at a time where the young plant can just keep growing without a setback, it's better than planting early and them being clobbered by unfavourable growing conditions. They suffer a setback and it takes a while for them to recover o a bit like when we get the flu!

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