Broad Beans

Broad Beans


Broad beans can be sown in the Autumn to give an early harvest or early Spring. Autumn sowing can be problematic particularly if the Winter is cold and very wet as germination can be unreliable and the seeds can rot.

Broad beans are best sown directly into the ground. The soil should be prepared by mixing in well rotted manure or blood, fish and bone fertiliser. The ground should be dug over to ensure good drainage.

It can be a good idea to grow broad beans in a block as this makes it easier to provide supports if necessary.

Broad beans can be started indoors. This is a good idea if mice are a problem or the soil is waterlogged. Sow one seed in each pot or module.


Broad beans generally grow without much bother. As the pods begin to form, pinch out the growing tips to reduce the chances of attack by black flies/aphids.

Plants can be supported if necessary by individual canes or, if they are in a block, some string around four corned canes should be sufficient.


The beans should be harvested around June. Autumn sown beans will be ready a couple of weeks before those sown in Spring.

They are best harvested when they are young and about the size of a thumbnail. Pods at the bottom of the plant will ripen first so harvesting will need to be done over a few days.


Aquadulce Claudia AGM

The best variety for autumn sowing and overwintering. The long pods are early to mature.

Broad bean ‘Bunyard’s Exhibition

Sweet and subtly flavoured, with a delicate texture

‘The Sutton’ AGM

A dwarf variety, only reaching 45cm (18in) tall, so ideal in containers and windy sites. Early maturing.


Apart from attacks by aphids, bean weevils can cause damage to the leaves of young plants but larger plants can usually outgrow them. Blackened edges to the leaves is a sign of frost damage and occurs when the beans are planted out too early.