Broad Beans

Broad Beans

Have you ever enjoyed the taste of fresh-picked broad beans? If not, you should – they are tender and have a sweet and sensational taste. To enjoy this taste, you have to sow them in autumn and harvest them from May. Another good time for sowing the broad beans is in late winter. You can pick the broad beans sown at this time in the following summer. 

Don’t have enough space? Well, you can also grow the dwarf varieties in pots. In addition, they can be successful as container-grown veg. 

broad beans

Sowing Broad Beans

March and April is the primary sowing period of the broad beans. However, you can also sow it in February in a cold greenhouse or under cloches.

In countries where the weather is mild, you can cultivate some varieties in autumn. First, however, make sure you are sowing the seeds in sheltered sites. You can pick this crop within 30 weeks.

Follow these tips to sow the broad beans:

  • Sow the seeds in a depth of 2 inches.
  • Make sure you have sown the seeds every 8 inches.
  • Sow the dwarf varieties at every 6 inches.
  • Make double rows with a distance of 8inch in rows. They grow best in this arrangement.
  • If needed, position the second double row at a distance of 2 feet from the first one.
  • Fill the gaps of non-germinating seeds by sowing some extra seeds at the rows ends.


  • Support the taller varieties of the broad beans with stout stakes.
  • Position the stakes at the corners of the double row.
  • Make sure the stakes are positioned at 5 feet apart around the rows, and the strings present around the stakes are at a distance of at least 1 foot from the ground.
  • Water plants during their flowering period. However, if the drought period is more extended, you should water the broad beans after two weeks of first watering.


So, you have learnt how to sow broad beans and how you can help them grow. Now it’s time to know when you can enjoy these super delicious beans. And how you can harvest them?

Generally, the harvesting time varies from late spring to mid-summer. This is because it depends on the time when you had sown the beans. Moreover, the variety of the beans that you had sown also decides when you can harvest it.

However, here’re some tips that will help you pick the broad beans at the right time:

· Pick and cook the broad beans whenever you notice the size of young pods to be 3 inches long.

· Wait until you can see the beans through the pod to pick the pods to shell.

· Make sure the scars on the beans are green or white. Never pick beans with black scars because it’s the stage when beans become tough.

· Check the plants regularly and pick the ripened pods. It will encourage the growth of more pods. While checking the plants for ripened pods, always check on the lower down on the plant. It’s so because pods on this position mature first.

Here is a time lapse video, showing the whole life cycle of broad bean sowing, planting, growing, and picking:

Common problems

Unfortunately, broad beans suffer from a variety of problems. I have listed the basic common ones, but if you wish to know more, CLICK HERE for a comprehensive article on the subject.

Black bean aphid

These aphids suck the sap of beans and deform the plants. Moreover, stunting in the stems and leaves of the broad beans is also due to aphids.


  • Trim the infested parts and tips of the broad beans.
  • Catch small populations if the aphids have infested some other beans.

Pea and bean weevil

This tiny insect introduces a scalloped appearance in broad beans. But, how it does that? Well, it bites small holes on the outside of the leaf.


  • This damage caused by these insects affects plant harvesting.
  • You can cover the broad beans with fleece to prevent weevils and boost growth.

Chocolate spot

Chocolate spots on the leaves, pods and stems indicate the fungal disease. This disease mainly occurs due to overwintering in humid and damp weather.


Proper airflow around the plants is the only way to keep the broad beans away from the fungal disease. For this purpose,

  • Space the plants correctly.
  • Keep the soil weed-free

Here’s a short video showing to to prepare and cook the vegetable:

Here are some varieties that we grow, which you might like to try:

For more information or assistance with this article, or if you want to add something that you feel is relevant, we would love to hear from you via the Contact Us page.

06/15/2021 | Vegetables | 0 Comments

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