Saturday, 25 February 2012

B is for Broad Beans

The next thing to sow outdoors after artechokes is Broad Beans. I like to give mine a head start by soaking them for 24 hours before sowing. Of course I could have given them more of a head start by sowing them last autumn. Last season I did, and the spring sown beans did just as well if not better than the autumn  sown ones. (They were hardly any earlier but some disappeared)  So this year it's just spring sown.

Soaking Broad Beans

My chosen variety is The Sutton. "Good for exposed sites" the books say. Aside from being hardy this variety is short, so you can get away without providing support. Now that's what I call canny!

The Sutton


  1. Sutton have done well for me in the past and I've given up with Autumn sowing as there's no real difference to the spring sowings in my experience. Never soaked them before sowing though so thanks for the tip.

  2. My late sowing ones didn't come up, so I'll be putting some more in later in the week. I've never soaked them before, so will have a go this time round. Do you do that for all beans, or just broad beans?

  3. I sowed my beans for 2011 harvest in the autumn but after having lost a few over the bad winter and having to fill in the gaps I decided to just sow in the spring this year. The only thing I found different were those sowed in the autumn didn't suffer with black fly so much. I always start mine off in pots!!

  4. Great minds think alike, sowed mine yesterday too! It's too wet here for sowing anything in autumn, I only do spring sowings.

  5. Hi Mal
    Oh no we wont. A great reminder that it was time to get some broad beans sown. No beds ready on the plot so as usual I've sown some in modules today to plant out at a later date. Famous last words now I usually find mine germinate OK without soaking. Mice will my main problem!

  6. Nice to hear from such leguminaries.

    To answer your question Fiona, I soak broad beans and peas, both of which I sow direct earlier in the year, but not runner or other beans, which I sow in pots/modules (and keep well watered)

    Sue and Martyn. Can't believe I've stolen a march on you on something!!!

    1. I've never tried broad beans, but this year I might. Have only just started thinking about the plot seriously again after a long winter hiatus.