Sunday 24 March 2019

Planting Broad Beans

A couple of days ago I planted out my first row of Broad Bean seedlings. They were some of the "Witkiem Manita" ones that I described last week. I judged that with at least two pairs of leaves each, they were at just the right stage for planting. You can leave them longer, but I like to get mine established as soon as possible. Besides, tall or leggy seedlings are much harder to plant without damaging them.

This is the size of Broad Bean seedling that I consider ideal for planting-out

The first part of the job was preparing the ground. I dug in the thick layer of home-made compost with which I had covered the raised bed about a month ago, incorporating at the same time a few handfuls of Fish, Blood and Bone fertiliser. Both of these types of fertiliser are of course organic and not composed of artificial chemicals.

I laid out the seedlings in their pots, arranging them at the "correct" spacing before planting them. My raised beds are 2.4 metres long and I think that 10 Broad Beans fit comfortably in this length, so (allowing for some space at the ends of the row) they end up approximately 20cm apart. Eventually I will have two rows of ten, but on this occasion I only planted one. The second row will go in a bit later, with plants from my second sowing, so that my harvest is extended.

Notice the already well-developed root structure.

Planting is easy: dig a hole in the moist soil; tap the plant out of its pot; place the plant in the hole; backfill with soil and firm-in; job done!

So here's my first row of ten Broad Beans:

For the time being they will be covered with the long cloches you see in the next photo. This is in order to provide protection not only from the weather, but also from animals, because lots of the latter seem to enjoy digging in my raised beds in the middle of the night!

These raised beds are 2.4 metres long x 1.2 metres wide x 40cm tall

My next major task will be to plant Early Potatoes in some of those black tubs you see in the background. Details in a later post.


  1. Look beautifully healthy Mark... hope they stay that way, with no nocturnal visitors xx

  2. We always need to allow our beans to grow a bit bigger before planting out, Mark as the allotment is a less hospitable place than a garden.


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