Ways to grow and pick broad beans, showing results of sowing both autumn and spring

Broad or FAVA beans are a hardy vegetable which tolerates some frost. In my garden, zone 8 climate with average winter lows of -6 to -8C/20F, broad beans get their roots down in autumn and sit quietly all winter, before exploding into growth in the spring. This results in earlier and often more substantial harvests than from spring sowings. See also two different varieties in this video, tall and short ones – Aquadulce Claudia (tall) and de Monica (shorter).

11 thoughts on “Ways to grow and pick broad beans, showing results of sowing both autumn and spring

  1. Just lost four rows of broad bean seeds sowed two days ago to unknown maurauder leaving perfect little circles in soil. These seeds sown to replace earlier ones which all germinated but tops nipped off and left on ground. Is it worth a third attempt? Any suggestions Charles?

  2. I didn’t follow your advice and sowed in late September and planted in early October. We’re now having quite a warm fall. The plants are now quite large and starting to bud. Should I pinch back those shoots for eating and will I still get a good harvest in spring?

    1. I punched them back to about 6-8 inches as they were starting th to flower. I’ll report back on results in the spring!

  3. I’m in the UK right now in oxfordshire. Could broad beans be sowed outdoor successfully this coming week?

  4. Really helpful video thank you. You say give the beans plenty of room but don’t specify the spacing you use. Could you give me your recommended spacing please. Many thanks

      1. Is that 18 inches between the rows of two transplants in a row at 6 inches?

        X 6inches X
        6 inches
        X. X

        18 inches

        X 6 inches X
        6 inches
        X 6 inches X

        1. Can be.
          I use varied spacing and have increased it recently to 1 row with 6 inches between each ceiling and 20 inches between rows

          1. Last summer, I grew at 30 cm rows, 10cm apart, four rows to a 120 cm bed, and got a good harvest, filled pods. Is that excessive for one bed in the long term?

          2. That does sound impressively close Miki. But if it works for you, I would carry on and in your high latitude, where growth is so fast but for a relatively short period, close spacing perhaps makes more sense.
            Also the spacing of a broad beans is affected by how much time they have to tiller, or make new stems, turning into multisown plants all from one seed. My spacings tend to assume there is some tillering.

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