Thursday 15 March 2018

Planting Broad Beans

I've managed to get some Broad Bean plants into the ground now.

My planting schedule was a bit disrupted by the very severe weather that came in the guise of the "Beast From The East", hitting us just as my seed beans germinated. This meant that the plants had to be kept indoors for several days, and they mostly went "leggy", in other words a lot taller and thinner that is desirable. If things had gone according to plan, they would have been outside in the coldframe, growing slowly and developing into short, sturdy plants well-adapted to the outdoor conditions right from the beginning.

Anyway, I felt they couldn't stay in their little 9cm pots any longer, so I chose the best ones and planted them in one of my raised beds. You may recall that I sowed seeds of 4 different varieties - 8 of each. There were a few No-Shows, but I ended up with 28 plants. I decided I'd have 5 of each type, planted in two rows. This means the plants are about 20cm apart, which seems about right.

This plant is a good one -- short and stocky:

These two on the other hand, didn't get chosen, because they are tall, thin and lanky.

Since many of my plants were far from perfect specimens, I took special care to plant them very deep and to draw soil up around their stems to give them as much support as possible. Here's hoping we don't get any very strong winds in the near future!

I don't know whether I have mentioned this before, but once I realised my beans might be a bit below-par, I sowed some more - "just in case". They are germinating now, and I bet they will be better plants than the first lot.

Assuming I don't need them as spares, I'll take them up to my other plot at Courtmoor Avenue and plant them there.

I don't know yet what problems I will encounter in relation to wildlife at the Courtmoor plot, but I do know that in my own garden, any unprotected seedlings would be in grave peril - hence the beans will remain covered with netting until they are about 3 feet tall.


  1. Our broad bean seeds have been sown in modules this week. Just heard that there is chance of yet more snow - totally fed up with thus weather now.

  2. My De Monica have germinated but The Sutton are being coy.

    I wouldn't have worried too much about the leggy growth myself because early sown broad beans develop multiple stems (they "tiller"). Pinching out the tops is also standard practice - once they have flowered - so I would have used them. But if you have plenty of spares it is understandable to go for the most robust that won't need propping up.

    1. Mal, do you support your Broad Beans, and if so, how?

    2. Because they are always the first sowing my broad beans are always near the fence. If they look vulnerable I use a length of string to anchor them to the fence. To avoid this necessity I do favour short varieties (e.g. The Sutton or De Monica)

    3. Thanks. Because I only grow such a small number of them I usually end up staking them individually with bamboo canes. I tried criss-crossed strings, but that didn't work very well.


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