With easy-to-handle large seeds, robust nature and ability to grow in the ground or containers, broad beans make a lovely crop of vegetables to try if you’re growing your own crops for the first time.
When to start
Sow these seeds from March to May for good crops of fleshy beans that taste lovely in salads or added to sauces for added texture.
What to do
Prepare a good pile of Vegetable Growing Compost; with a good balanced nutrient-content for vegetables.
Fill the 9cm pots with the seed compost, strike off the excess and lightly pat down the soil so it’s flush with the top. Sow one broad bean seed per pot to about 2.5cm (1 in) deep.
Cover with more of the seed compost and place pots on a water tray. Water with a can fitted with a ‘rose’ (sprinkler at the spout). Insert label and leave in a cool, light position.
When the green shoots push through the soil, water the modules daily. At this stage of growth they are called ‘seedlings’. Make sure the compost is always moist without being waterlogged. Tip out any excess water in the water tray at the end of each day.
After around 14 days your broad beans will be big enough to move on into containers. If the weather is warm keep containers outside at all times. If it’s a cold spring bring containers indoors at night and return them outdoors by day.
A 20-30cm (8-12in) pot will take two plants comfortably. If planting in containers, be prepared to stick in some surrounding supports in a ring around the plants as they grow. Tie a double row of string around the ring of supports.
Water each morning in spring, and morning and evening if it’s particularly warm.
In late spring to early summer pick the beans daily. In the event of a glut, broad beans freeze well.