Beans, beans, the magical fruit….

As Winter is beginning to rear its head, now is the time to plant your broad beans! These can be planted from now until September and make an easy addition to the winter garden.

Here at Shotover Garden Centre, we have a few varieties in stock and they couldn’t be easier to grow! Just follow these instructions:

1) Choose a sunny site for planting and prepare the soil with some compost.

2) Soak the beans in water overnight prior to planting.

3) Broad beans can be sowed directly into the ground so get stuck in! Plant each seed around 4cm deep and 10cm apart.  Make the rows approx 90cm apart for better airflow and to prevent fungus taking hold.

4) Broad beans grow pretty quickly and for best results, need additional support. The easiest way to do this is to use a simple structure made out of garden stakes or bamboo cane. Place your stakes at intervals down the row and tie string or twine between the stakes.

5) When the beans first appear, after 10-13 weeks, pinch out the juicy tips to prevent aphids attacking your crop. These tips can be eaten raw in salads or steamed, like broccoli.

6) When to harvest the beans is really a matter of taste. However, do not let the beans grow too big or the juicy sweetness of the beans will be replaced by a flat starchy flavour.

7) Enjoy your beans!!

After you have harvested your entire crop, it is a good idea to dig what’s left of the empty stems into the soil, as they are a handy source of Nitrogen, which will be handy for your plant crops in Spring!

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