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Growing Beans - broad beans, fava beans, also Fava bean

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P     P P      

(Best months for growing Beans - broad beans, fava beans in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 6°C and 24°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 25 cm apart
  • Harvest in 12-22 weeks. Pick frequently to encourage more pods.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dill, Potatoes
  • Broad bean flowering
  • Egyptian broad beans
  • Young beans on plant
  • Young broad bean plant

It is a rigid, erect plant 0.5-1.7 m tall, with stout stems with a square cross-section. The leaves are 10-25 cm long, pinnate with 2-7 leaflets, and of a distinct glaucous grey-green color. Harvest 90 - 160 days depending on how cold the weather is.

In windy areas it is best to provide some support with posts and string, otherwise the plants will fall across each other. Pick the tops out once beans start setting to prevent blackfly.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beans - broad beans, fava beans

The fresh beans are eaten steamed or boiled. As the beans mature it is better to remove their tough outer skins after cooking.
The leafy top shoots of the adult plants can be picked and steamed after flowering.
Small beans can be eaten whole in the pods.
Broad beans will freeze well. Remove from pods and blanch.

Your comments and tips

23 Oct 19, Brewster (Australia - temperate climate)
how do you know when the bean pod ready to pick..? mine look massive , but when open them there not full size yet? is it a firmness or size..?
23 Oct 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You can eat the whole pod when Broad beans are young , about 8cm. Otherwise, leave them until the pods feel firm and you can see the outline of the beans.
01 Jun 19, Diana O’Brien (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Should you plant the “eye “of the seed down or up?
06 Jun 19, Helen (Australia - temperate climate)
Don't think it makes any difference, I just drop them in :-)
24 May 19, Anne (Australia - temperate climate)
Have been growing Broad Beans for many years. The past couple of years germination has been problematic, but this year is the worst ever. Have planted seeds dry, soaked overnight in water, also weak seaweed solution. No improvement in any method. Used seeds saved from last year's harvest in several patches, and packet seeds expiring Aug 20 and 21 in other patches. Any suggestions or advice most welcome. Thanks!
08 May 19, Elizabeth (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I love BB and want to start a container garden, I have tough big wooden troughs. Any hints recommendations for a new gardener?
21 May 19, Gaye (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Planted bb plants in Invercargill a few weeks ago as climate autumnal. I think they will be good early spring. Often whatever is at garden centres will be an indication on what to put in. Also put kale and few lettuce plants in and will put garlic in in June
14 Mar 19, jake (New Zealand - temperate climate)
These are our staple reliable crop in chch. great wizzed up raw to make felafel. i sow them at all times of the year into the roughest of ground in our heavy clay they even grow ok direct sown into the lawn or a developing area. they usually do better sown in late winter and i sow alot closer together.
01 Mar 19, Ron (Australia - temperate climate)
Are Fava beans suitable for digging back into the ground
03 Mar 19, mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
All organic matter is suitable to dig back into the soil. Anything that has lived - plant animal. But it needs time to decompose to be available to plants.
Showing 1 - 10 of 277 comments

Roger, we just leave all the stems and although they tend to flop around a bit, they all produce plenty of beans.

- Liz

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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