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

06 Sep 21, Nigel (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
My beans have been flowering for 2 months. Lots of continuous flowers but so far no beans. Ideas please.
27 Sep 21, Steve (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My understanding is that you have to wait for the bees to arrive to pollonate the plant. I had the same issue last year as well. Just need to wait a bit longer
07 Sep 21, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
I had the same problem in sub-tropical Australia last. They probably prefer a cooler climate like yours. I put it down to wind last year although I have no idea. Maybe google about it or ring an agricultural dept.
26 Aug 21, adrienne Margaret mcgrath (New Zealand - temperate climate)
my broad beans are only about two foot high and have flowers,?
20 Aug 21, Richard Stancliffe (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Are the plants frost tolerant? We get -5degC frosts through to the end of October. I have a dozen 30cm plants to plant out. Cheers
24 Aug 21, Tony (New Zealand - temperate climate)
You can plant anytime and if there is a frost, the plants will fall over but recover, albeit looking a bit unkempt.
26 Aug 21, Richard Stancliffe (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Nice. Thanks Tony
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.
22 Aug 21, Richard Stancliffe (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Nice - will have try that.
16 Oct 20, Matt Molloy (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what should ph of soil be?
Showing 1 - 10 of 24 comments

Best to plant them in the autumn. They need cool/cold weather.

- Anonymous

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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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