Broad Bean Planting

On two allotments and in one garden, I shall be sowing broad beans this weekend. There are few crops about which I’d say ‘you can’t have enough’ because you can definitely have too much of some: courgettes and spinach, for example, but broad beans, like raspberries, are something I just can’t get enough of, particularly as broad beans freeze so incredibly well.

Autumn-sown broad beans have several advantages: they do not need a rich soil and can be sown on ground that has been manured for a previous crop, as long as it has good drainage, you can sow them directly 5cm deep in double rows in late October which gives them a chance to establish good roots to support the heavy yields you hope they will carry next year! Over the winter the plants should reach 5-10cm tall and then stay this size through to spring – but out of sight they are putting on side roots to allow spring growth. To promote this, you can add an organic fertiliser around the roots in the spring and rake it in lightly, being careful not to damage the roots.

And in spring they’ll take off, producing those distinctive white and black flowers, and a lovely light scent that draws bees from miles away.

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Posted by The Allotment Blogger on Friday, November 7, 2008

1 Comments:

Blogger Mark Hubbard said...

My broad beans are now fully in flower: can't wait to see how the new red variety I've planted turn out.

November 9, 2008 at 12:37 PM  

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