Broad beans are one of the earliest crops for harvest in late spring and they are very simple to grow. Broad beans are versatile too – shell the pods for the beans, eat the immature pods whole or steam or stir-fry the leafy tops.
If you actually live in a cold area, or your soil is waterlogged or you have a problem with mice (which love the seeds), then it’s a good idea to sow the Broad beans in a deep pots or modules. Just make sure it is placed in a cool, frost-free place such as a cold frame or unheated greenhouse, and they’ll germinate within 3 weeks.
Furthermore, after around 6 weeks, the roots will have filled the pots, and the seedlings will be ready to harden off and plant out. Make sure you plant the broad beans in well-drained soil that has plenty of organic matter incorporated. Space at around 25cm apart and also give the plant a sturdy support. The following are the things you will need to get started; Seed compost, broad bean seeds, seed trays or modules.
The following are the 4 simple steps on how you can start your own crop of tasty broad beans;
Step one: Start by filling the deep pots or modules with seed compost. It’s vital to use deep pots, because broad beans develop long roots.
Step two: You can use your finger to push a single bean seed, on its edge, into the top of each module. Then cover the broad beans seed with a little extra compost – the broad beans seed should be about 5cm deep.
Step three: You need to water the compost thoroughly. Make sure you stand the rootrainers or the pots in a cool but frost-free, sheltered place, like a cold frame, unheated greenhouse or cool windowsill.
Step four: Once the plant roots have filled the pots, you can harden off the plants by standing them outside during the day but bringing them under cover at night. You have to soak the compost before planting out.
Watch out for aphids
You need to keep an eye out for aphids, which normally eat the young, soft shoot tips. You can easily pinch out the tender shoot tips once the first flowers appear in other to deter the aphids.