Growing guides

Autumn sowing broad beans

As mentioned in the podcast here is a written article on sowing broad beans in the autumn.
I like to sow some broad beans in the winter so as to get a harvest in May and to use my plot throughout the winter months.
I can sow direct or in pots between Mid October and mid November. Simply by placing them in soil or compost and giving them a good water is all they need to start. They do need some protection as mice or squirrels can dig up the seeds but placing some cage wire prevents this.
My personnel preference is to sow seeds in pots to start them off then plant them in the soil in mid November.
By mid November put the plants under a cloche to keep them warm throughout the winter watering is rarely needed unless it's exceptionally dry but I've never had this problem personally till about March.
Come march the plants are growing well and the cloche can be removed but keep an eye on the weather just incase the weather changes for the worst and the plants need protecting. Also as the plants flower they need to be pollinated generally there are enough insects around to do this but in cold springs they may need pollinating by a small brush but again I've never had this problem.
Keep watering when needed and by mid May you can be harvesting your first broad beans. Simply pick the pods when you feel the beans have swelled to a reasonable size.
When the plants have finished cropping I recommend cutting the plants at ground level leaving the roots in the ground so as they real ease nitrogen in the soil as the breakdown feeding your soil. Sometimes I have had these roots sprout more plants which has given me a second crop but this isn't reliable.
So there you go that's what I do give it a try and let me know how you get on.
Written by theveggrowerpodcast

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