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

31 Jan 21, Aaron (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Apparently, falafel was originally made from dried Broad Beans. I've tried them in a "meatless" patty in burgers. First boiling the beans till they start to soften then putting them in a blender. They don't have the gritty texture chickpeas can have. Even a confirmed carnivore like me was happy eating them.
16 Oct 20, Matt Molloy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what should ph of soil be?
19 Oct 20, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Best to plant them in the autumn. They need cool/cold weather.
18 Oct 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
a ph of 6.5 seems to suit most vegetables
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.
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.
Showing 1 - 10 of 16 comments

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