Broad Beans


Site, Soil and Preparation

Broad beans prefer a fertile, well drained soil that has had a preparation of plenty of garden compost or manure. Autumn sown varieties are best in a sheltered position, whilst spring sown varieties can be in an open position.

Indoor Sowing

Broad beans are usually sown direct outside but can be started indoors in root trainers.

Outdoor Sowing

Autumn variety sowings from October to November and spring varieties from February to April. Sow at a depth of 50mm (2in), 250mm (10in) apart with rows 300mm (1ft) apart. Late autumn and early spring sowings may need protecting with horticultural fleece.


Transplant indoor sown broad beans to their outdoor positions when roots have reached the bottom of the root trainers and plant at the same spacings as given for outdoor sowing.


Tall varieties will need stakes to support them, whilst short varieties can usually support themselves. Pinch out the tops of the plants when pods begin to form to deter blackfly.


Harvest the pods once they become swollen with the beans and pick from the lower pods upwards.