Growing Broad Beans, also Fava bean

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

(Best months for growing Broad 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 43°F and 75°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 10 inches 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 Broad 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

05 Jun 20, Pastor Dennis Naidoo (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Good Day I have planted Tom Thumb peas in May and its now sprouting. What nutrients should i feed the pea plants. Regards Dennis
08 Jun 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
You should prepare your ground/soil a few weeks/months before you plant things. Mix in compost or add some mulch and wet it and turn it over a few times to break it down over a few months before planting. Add some composted manures etc. Also some blood and bone. If you do that then you don't need much fertiliser. If your soil is rich now it don't need anything. If you have poor soil just use a general gardening fert 10-13N 2-4P 3-6K. Or buy an organic fert - they are about 4N 2P 3-4K.
03 May 20, Ganas Naidoo (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Please tell me, is broad beans and canned butter beans the same
04 May 20, liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
No, they are different varieties of beans
21 Apr 20, Lea Zimmer (Australia - temperate climate)
This is a worry to me.. My greenhouse seedlings are dying. What can I do. The soil is wet, Do I need artificial lighting and heating. Can someone advise Thank you
22 Apr 20, M (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Are you playing around with a toy greenhouse from Bunnings or Aldi or do you have a decent size one, like 4-5m x 5-6m. IF your soil is WET WET then you are over watering it. Do you have heavy clay soil or loamy soil. MAKE your soil more friable by adding compost, manures etc. Water should drain through soil easily. I t should not sit on the top for any length of time. A greenhouse protects the plants from the drying sun so water less. Little plants only need a light watering each day for the first week or so, then a good watering each 2-3 days.
17 Apr 20, Meg (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What does it mean in the description to pick the tops once the plants settle?
21 Apr 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
At the top of the broad bean plants there is a growing point - a cluster of new leaves -. When your plants have reached about a metre high (or less for small varieties) , pick out that bunch of leaves. It helps to prevent black fly infestations and encourages the plant to produce more beans from side shoots.
16 Apr 20, Suem (Australia - temperate climate)
What does it mean when it says "Pick the tops out once beans start setting (to prevent blackfly) ."
05 Apr 20, Robert Pye (Australia - temperate climate)
I was told to plant the seed so they mature for harvest in September, is that correct?
Showing 1 - 10 of 290 comments

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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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