Use a broad bean or combination inoculant to provide a source of nitrogen. Sow seed 5cm (2″) deep, 15cm (6″) apart in double rows. Each set of double rows should be 1m (3’) apart. Germination takes 10-14 days, depending on conditions.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.5.Well drained, warm soil in full sun is best. Raised beds help with both drainage and warmth. Use 1 cup of complete organic fertilizer for every 3m (10′) of row. Too much nitrogen fertilizer is often the cause of poor pod set and delayed maturity. If the plants flower but do not set pods, the cause may be zinc deficiency. Try spraying the plants with kelp-based fertilizer. Wet leaves on crowded plants are subject to diseases. Thin plants to increase air circulation and avoid touching the leaves while they are wet.
Pick when the pods appear plump and begin to droop from the weight of the seeds. Shell (like peas) and cook or use in soup. For dried beans, wait until the pods start to shrivel.
Diseases & Pests
Diseases & Pests: If black aphids appear in May/June, pinch off the growing tips on which the aphids feed. Spray with blasts of water to dislodge the aphids.
Caution: some people are highly allergic to broad beans.
Beans fix nitrogen in the soil. Plant with beets, Brassicas, carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes, radish, and strawberries. Avoid planting near chives, garlic, leeks, and onions.
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