Growing Broad Beans, also Fava bean

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

(Best months for growing Broad Beans in USA - Zone 5a 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

28 Mar 21, Michael Garbutt (Australia - temperate climate)
Do broad beans tolerate transplanting? Or should they go straight into position?
29 Mar 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
A trick I saw the other week is dig the trench in the soil, place the seeds in it, then cover with fine potting mix.
29 Mar 21, (Australia - temperate climate)
When planting seeds to transplant it is best to have them in a cell tray pack so that they establish a good root system before transplanting - 4-6 true leave stage. OR if your are transplanting fairly bare rooted transplants then protect them from the sun for the first week. OR if planting seeds in ground, wet the soil the day before, plant the seeds, give a light watering and don't water again for 3-4 days and then only a light watering. If seeds are too wet and hot temperature they will rot in the soil.
14 Apr 21, Jane (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks for above info on planting seeds. Q. Is this only for broad beans, or does it apply to planting all seeds?
04 Mar 21, gary (Australia - temperate climate)
what soil preparation is best for broad beans,my crops are getting less every year?
21 Mar 21, Tony (Australia - temperate climate)
I use good old chicken manure (Rooster Booster or similar) and dolomite lime. Dig both in well a few weeks before planting. Don't forget to plant your broad beans in a different spot than the year before
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
Showing 1 - 10 of 303 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. Gardenate 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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