A Comprehensive Guide on Growing Broad Beans

Vicia Faba, broad bean is a distinct relative and vetch type of French beans. These beans are native to Southwest Asia, and Northern Africa. Broad beans are not easy to grow and require much care, and attention to produce a good yield. These beans can be grown in the modestly sized pots and can produce higher outcomes on smaller gardens.

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Selection of Soil

Broad beans grow well on good manure, fertile, and rich soils. The addition of right fertilisers at the right time and right place is significantly helpful to improve growth and development of broad beans. However, the plantation sites or gardens must be protected from strong winds or should be planted in the sheltered spots.

If growing soil is very clayey or sandy, it must be improved by the addition of organic matter, potting mix, and peat. Clayey soils have more water retention, so irrigation should be carefully designed to avoid rotting and diseases development.

Spacing

Broad beans should be grown in the double rows at 25 cm apart. The seeds should be staggered along double rows for maximum utilisation of space and sown 5 cm deep. Irrigation must be done after seed sowing to provide enough moisture for germination, and seedlings development.

Support

Broad beans plants should be adequately supported to prevent flopping due to their weight. Simply a stout or cane stick can be used in all the corners of double rows and sting to tie. This is an essential approach to protect plants in windy conditions.

Irrigation

Broad beans must be irrigated appropriately to support maximum growth and development. Although watering is essential throughout the growing period, it is especially crucial at the flowering initiation.

Weeding

Gardeners should remove weeds either by manual, or mechanical weeding or by application of weedicides. The presence of weeds can suppress the growth of broad beans by consuming all nutrients and moisture contents in the soil.

Harvesting

Broad beans can be harvested after the development of entire pods before maturity. These beans must be harvested while they are still soft and well filled. Harvesting mature beans is not a recommended approach as the grains are chewy and challenging to eat.

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Pest Attack

Broad beans are prone to be attacked by blackfly and mice. Aphids and blackfly suppress their growth by attacking growing leaf tips. These must be punched out immediately followed by spraying effective insecticides. Moreover, companion planting along with the summer savoury (potent smelling herb) is also an excellent approach to repel these insects.

Mice are especially attracted to the sown seeds of broad beans and often affects their germination by digging. Use of traps is also an excellent approach to minimise the entry of mice. Other than this directly sown broad bean crops should also be covered with the fleece to avoid damage to the germinating seedlings.

Disease Development  

The development of chocolate spot is most commonly reported in the during damp and humid weather conditions. It causes the effect of brown coloured streaks on pods, and stems, and brown spots on different parts of leaves. Furthermore, proper air circulation should also be ensured to provide adequate growing conditions.

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