Broad Beans

Polytunnels, cold frames, greenhouses, propagators & more. How to get the best out of yours...

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KG Tony
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Broad Beans

Postby KG Tony » Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:00 pm

Once again this year I'm growing broad beans in the polytunnel. Sowed the seeds a few weeks a go in modular cell trays and now they're coming through. I've gone for 'The Sutton', a dwarf variety this year as last year's Aquadulce Claudia were great but just took over. It's so windy where I am, I gave up on growing broad beans outside over winter as they just got blown to bits. Love to hear what others are growing in their polytunnels/greenhouse this winter. Tony (editorial), aka Peter Radish
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Westi
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby Westi » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:01 pm

You've got a polytunnel Tony?

I thought my compost envy was bad but you've tipped me over the edge! You can have a shed or a greenhouse in our contracts, & they count a polytunnel as a greenhouse! But I quite like my shed - except for the spiders & rats obviously. Am going to try it on though as spotted both on another plot.

Anyway I overwinter broad beans outside and build a wind break around them with that green fabric stuff & get a nice early crop but like you I keep to the dwarf varieties.

Westi
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KG Tony
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby KG Tony » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:52 pm

Just planted some of the 'The Sutton's yesterday in the polytunnel (started them off last month in cell trays). Last year I planted Aquadulce Claudia in the polytunnel and they more or less took over! Sounds like you're doing well without a poly anyway. My veg plot is so exposed I got fed up with watching them struggle and whatever I put up seemed to get blown over or blow into them. Glad you like your broad beans though....I can really bore people when I start talking about them :).
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FredFromOssett
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby FredFromOssett » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:54 pm

Most years I have started Masterpiece Long Pod in October in toilet roll tubes, germinated in the coldframe and planted out in late October or November to overwinter on the plot. These have had survival rates varying from moderate to excellent. Last year my October (2015) sowings got too leggy to plant out as conditions were unsuitable to transfer them to the plot, so I made my first sowing direct on the plot in late March. On checking my cropping records, I see that they cropped just as early this year from the direct sowing as previously from overwintered crops.
I know that Masterpiece Long Pod is not the variety of choice for overwintered early cropping, but has been used because I like the beans and they were in stock without having to purchase another variety. As there seems to have been no real benefit in overwintering MLP, I have not started any for overwintering this year, and will just sow direct with 4 successive sowings between March and May.
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KG Tony
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby KG Tony » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:40 pm

Yes Fred, it does make you wonder whether overwintering is worth it with broad beans. I'm fortunate to have a polytunnnel and I was able to harvest earlier last year than I would have with outdoor grown ones. Like you, I'm not sure I'd bother overwintering if I was planting outdoors, especially as my plot can get really windy.
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby Pawty » Fri Dec 09, 2016 3:47 pm

Hi,

I'd most given up on overwintered broad beans ..... Until I read this. Maybe I'll try again.

I've planted seed straight in the ground, with little success. I've had the seed rot, damaged plants ( which did germinate) and have always dug up and replaced with Spring plants/ seed.

I get allotment envoy as I see loads of really successful over winter broad beans and early pickings.

This years Spring sown beans started well, really healthy plants, but then, all of the pods started going black. Never got to the bottom of it. Possible slug damage? I did suffer with a bit of black fly (as I do every year) but this was different....

Maybe I'll start some off in pots at the weekend and put them in the cold frame ( with the shallots, garlic and kale I didn't quite get around to planting ....)

Pawty
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sat Dec 10, 2016 6:54 am

I've grown the small variety Stereo for the past two years and it is a lovely tender one with not too strong a flavour and it doesn't have the leathery skins. I sow them in deep modules in the greenhouse to start, then put them in the cold frame and into the garden in spring when the soil is warming up a bit late Feb/March.

I've usually got plenty in the freezer so don't really need a particularly early crop. I've quite a lot of salad things in the greenhouse border so haven't room for broad beans, but it's a good idea if you have.

Talking about growing under cover, I've got another crop of watercress from the free seeds you put in the mag a while ago. I let them go to seed and all the new seedlings have appeared. It's been really good and easy to grow in the corner near the tap.
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby Motherwoman » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:25 am

Secret to overwintering broad beans is to make sure they are not too high going into winter. I sow Superaquadulce direct into the ground at the end of the first week in November. If I get it right they are only about 2" high for most of the winter. I'm in the softie south but on a windy site. I do cover with net but mostly to keep the jackdaws off. They can look a bit tatty by spring but as soon as we have warmer weather they romp away.
As for the content of my greenhouse...I'm ashamed to say it still contains the remnants of the summer cropping...
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Re: Broad Beans

Postby Monika » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:36 pm

We have tried autumn-grown broad beans in the past, but always found that spring-grown ones, started in root trainers and then planted out, catch up and produce a 100% success whereas quite a few of the overwintering ones succumbed.

And the unheated greenhouse over winter: it now just contains some herbs like a bay tree and parsley, and lots of flowers, like cyclamen, azaleas, violas and many pots with iris, miniature daffodils, scilla siberica, crocus and, flowering already, narcissus Paper White Ziva. Under the staging are lilies in pots and wrapped up spray chrysanthemums.
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