Warriston variety of the month
A monthly selection of fruit, veg or flowers that flourish on the Warriston site. Find more in our variety archive
March 2019—Broad beans
AB from the east side offers tips on growing broad beans:
Also known as the fava, broad beans are undisputed spring royalty on any plot. They are sturdy, muscular plants with luscious green grey leaves and flowers ranging from white to purple to magenta pink — in most varieties, the shell-like blooms, tucked into the plant in clusters, have a heady, sweet scent, easily equal to our favourite summer picking flowers. Sometimes it's subtle, but bend down and work among the plants and you will catch its intoxicating drift.
Plant the hardiest of all, Super Aquadulce or Aquadulce Claudia, either mid January onwards or autumn. Both give a May crop. Other varieties can be sown from March onwards, but bear in mind that broads don't enjoy maturing in heat, so all varieties are best going in by end April.
The heritage, heavy cropping Karmazyn swaggers with stunning pink beans and flowers on neat plants, while the taller Aquadulce characters produce beans that pop out long pods wearing soft lime green coats.
Sow in double rows 23cm apart in the row and between rows and 5cm deep. Pack will sow a double row 6m long. Allow 90cm between each pair of rows.
Nip out the pleated leafy tip of the plant once they have reached maturity in order to keep away pesky black flies who colonise the juicy young foliage in their thousands, mid summer, if given half the chance.
Cut the plants down before they become rusty and compost.
Purchase a good range of seeds from the Organic Catalogue www.organiccatalogue.com/seeds/vegetable-seeds/vegetable-seeds-a-b/beans-broad/
Image credit: Peter Facey,
CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=12949019