Growing Broad Beans, also Fava bean

Vicia faba : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

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 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
  • Shelling 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

10 Feb 08, Mary Forbes (Unknown climate)
Plant just one row and when they are about 10 cm high, plant a second row. Repeat as required. This ensures that you have tender broad beans for a longer period and are not over-loaded with a huge crop.
01 May 08, (Unknown climate)
Hi, this is the first time we are growing broad beans and our garden is going great guns, We planted 20 seeds and have 20 very healthy and happy b road bean plants about 40cm high. HOWEVER, the broad beans are full of ants!! What should I be doing to get rid of them, or are they there for a purpose? Can someone help me please cause I dont want to see my plants.
10 Jun 10, bella (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
I have sprayed mine with washing up liquid and water, hopefully that will help
01 May 08, Chris (Unknown climate)
Ants on the broadbeans are probably there because of blackfly/greenfly. The ants will be protecting the blackfly and feeding on the honeydew they secrete. Once the beans are past knee height you can pinch off the growing tips (the top two-to-three inches) of the bean plants (you can steam and eat these tips as a vegetable). Alternatively you can try washing off any insects with soapy water.
19 May 08, Anonymous (Unknown climate)
Grow Broad Beans in fertile soil with sun and shade.
01 Jun 08, peter fletcher (Unknown climate)
my broadbeans have heaps of flowers but they are not producing beans ,other beans and tomatos are fine . any advice or help please anybody
10 Jun 08, daneil (Unknown climate)
broad beans will not set when temperatures are too low. In Spring when the weather warms up then they will set.
18 Jun 08, mick newman (Unknown climate)
I plant mine everywhere the flower beds and front yard etc as they do generate nitrogen and look good as they are growing and i get a good feed from them. I also buy my seeds as dried beans from those greek shops where they sell all sorts of herbs and stuff...much cheaper rather than buying a packet and they grow as well anyway.
22 Jun 08, lily flax (Australia - temperate climate)
Broad Beans are so easy to grow, remember when you have finished to cut them down and dig them back into the soil as a green manure, or alternativly, cut them down and cover with a layer of compost and then pea straw then plant your next crop, got an amazing crop of tomotoes this way
30 Nov 08, Janet (Australia - temperate climate)
My broad beans were doing wonderfully then suddenly started turning black, withered and died. What happened? How can I stop it happening again?
Showing 1 - 10 of 342 comments

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