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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

16 Sep 18, Dez (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Yes bumble bees around everyday. maybe its a late season for Broad Beans?
13 Sep 18, Dez (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I've had my BB planted since March/April. They have heaps of flowers on them but there's no beans appearing. Have seen plently of bees to germinate them but still nothing. any ideas on what's gone wrong - with it now being sept??
14 Sep 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Dez, do you have bumble bees around ? They tend to shortcut the nectar gathering from BB flowers by piercing a hole though the back of the flower.
01 Sep 18, warren (New Zealand - temperate climate)
ok i live near the sea in eastern southland my advice from very experenced gardeners in winton to plant broad beans very early august or before that.... i have always found that you can plant them later before xmas and obtain a good crop if you plant early in cold ground its not going to get there quicker . i dont think that the ground will be at 6 deg on the first day of spring What is your thoughts any how. another comment on blanching, then freezing all it will do is change the colour to a dull grey the fact is that it is going to be cooked any how, i stopped blanching ages ago.
24 Oct 17, Mitchell Calcott (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What are some innovative ways of selling them?
18 Jul 10, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Roger, we just leave all the stems and although they tend to flop around a bit, they all produce plenty of beans.
25 May 10, Paul (New Zealand - temperate climate)
How to prevent the plant falling down each other? "it is best to provide some support with posts and stringusing." I think the best way is to choose a proper time to sow. Sow in May or June rather than Mar or April. Because sow in winter, the plant grows slowly. During spring the plant will grow fast and strong that wouldn't fall.
15 Dec 10, Scott (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
We top our broad beans and that helps them bush out; besides the fleshy plant tips are great for steaming...I like them better than spinach!
09 Mar 10, Rob (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
@Lindsay, It's the roots that you plough back into the soil and that provides nitrogen(essential for foliage growth)

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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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