Growing Broad Beans

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Growing and Planting Broad Beans

Broad Beans do best on strong, heavy soil, but run too much to leaf on that which is too sandy or too rich, and providing the soil is in good condition, no manure. Needs to be used at the time of sowing the seed. This, however, depends also on the time the Beans are sown. A moderately rich, dry, soil is best for a crop sown in Winter, whilst a cool, or more tenacious soil suits the late crops. The ground must be deeply dug and manure added when necessary. Should the soil for early planting be stiff, it may be thrown into ridges and the seed sown on the top of each. Late sowings require protection from hot winds, while early and main crop plantings require a good open situation. Sow the seed in Winter for an early crop, and again in June, July, August and September, to preserve a succession. Seed may be sown in double rows about 6 inches apart, allowing 4 feet between each set of double rows, or in single rows from 3 to 3½ feet apart.

Broad bean seed

Set the seeds when sowing early about 2 inches deep and for main crop about 3 inches deep and 6 inches apart in the rows, and a good plan which helps to minimise the attacks of worms and soil insects is to start the seed before putting it in the ground. Should dry weather prevail during planting with the later crops, steep the seed for a few hours in clean water, and thoroughly water the bottom of the drills, then sow and cover in without delay.

Fill a basin about three-quarters full with the beans and cover with water. As soon as signs of growth appear drop each seed into a hole in the ground. By this means almost every seed sown will grow, and there will be no misses. The best varieties for the home Garden are Leviathan Longpod, Triumph, and Broad Windsor. The tops of Broad Beans cut and boiled like Spinach make a delicious vegetable.

Broad Beans sown late, under reasonable conditions, will be ready for picking about the end of October, and later sowings will be available accordingly.

While the crop is growing keep the ground loose by occasionally forking or deep hoeing, as well as manuring with Lime, Bone Dust, Superphosphate or Stable Manure. As the plants begin to flower, pinch the top off each stem, as this makes the pods set better. Gather the pods as they become ready for use so that the strength of the plant is maintained and the bearing period prolonged. Once the plants are allowed to mature their seed they stop flowering and die off.

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