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Broad Beans Disappointing

I sowed about a dozen or so Broadbeans for the first time.  They germinated and grew very well, but the yield is disappointing both in terms of numbers of pods on plants and number of beans in pods.  On average I'd say I was getting maybe 6-8 pods to a plant and 3-4 beans to a pod, even when the pods themselves are six inches or so long.  Is this a typical yield?  So far I've not had enough crop to form a complete meal at any one time, and am mixing them with the peas I've cultivated.  They taste good enough, it's just I'd have expected more given the amount of flowers and length of flowering time.


  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,947
    What variety are you growing?  Autumn or spring sown?  Did you feed them?  What is your soil like?  I got about the same when I grew them, spring sown on poorish/sandy soil.. I didn't find them worth the effort and space.  
    Utah, USA.
  • sandra255sandra255 Posts: 64
    It was De Monica, spring sown in the greenhouse, transplanted to a recovered clay-ish bed that hadn't been used for cultivation before.  I'd been expecting to get enough for a few meals and maybe dry storage but very disappointed.  As you say, not worth the time and space.  I'm holding out more hope for the Chick peas and Edamame beans.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,821
    edited June 2018
    I grow them most years . I sow two double rows of Aquadulce Claudia probably 40 plants, in situ in the veg patch  in late October where they overwinter with no protection.
    I make sure they have plenty of water as soon as they start flowering.
    By the end of May we're eating broad beans for at least four meals a week and this goes on for six weeks or so, by the end of which time we have lots in the freezer too. 

    We  love broad beans. If you do too then you need to sow more of them and give them better growing conditions. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I sowed Aqudulce in Oct. and overwintered them in an unheated double glazed conservatory. They grew too well! Our winter was so prolonged and very cold I kept waiting to put them outside until they were about 2 ft tall and in flower. I eventually planted them out, looking a bit thin and leggy and crossed my fingers. They took a few weeks to get over the shock and then stood still for weeks. Quite a few of the flowers died off and I was ready to pull them up when new shoots started appearing at the bases. I kept them watered and fed and have grown the best crop ever. I have just started picking. Better late than never. My soil is very poor, thin, gritty, edge of clay country territory, I have been bulking it up steadily with home made compost plus supplementary feeds of potash and nitrogen products which at last seems to be paying off. The same thing has happened with my sweetpeas, they are at last flowering, not so well as usual but they have not died.
  • Mine have been a little like yours Sandra. Beans only seem to have formed at the base of the plants and not as plump as they were last year. I too had a myriad of flowers, and a disproportionately low number of beans in comparison. I don't know where you are but here it has been so dry that I think that must have an impact. I did plant loads, which has the upside of giving enough of a crop, but in dry times I think they may be battling each other for the water.
    I hope you do grow them again next year. I think the ones you pick before they get too large and tough are much better than those in the shops, even if it's just a taster not a full course.
    “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,692
    12 plants isn't enough! I grow lots, like Dove. But I live in Dordogne and it can get too hot and too dry for them so they need a good soak every few days. This year we had a lot of rain and they grew well, but I gather it's been dry in the UK. You also need bees and insects to fertilise the flowers. I have a big flower garden so I have lots of bees.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,947
    Haha.. don't hold too much hope for the edamame.. then you won't be disappointed.  I don't think they perform well in a typical U.K. summer.   :/  Not sure about chick peas though.  A dozen runner beans, now, they will keep you in greens until you can't stand another meal of them.  Ugg.. one summer of them was enough to last me a life time.  Pole green beans are good value for a limited number of plants too, and usually produce enough for several weekly meals.  I like the purple pod variety, as they make for easy picking.  
    Utah, USA.
  • sandra255sandra255 Posts: 64
    Interesting (and encouraging) to hear of others' experiences.  I only had space for a dozen as a trial run, as this year, in addition to mega potato and onion crops, we've grown cabbage, cauliflower, beetroot, peas, chick peas, edamame, peppers, garlic, runner beans, dwarf beans, sprouts, tomatoes and kohlrabi. I bought four more broad bean plugs from the garden centre yesterday so will try them out in the spaces where we've already harvested. With regard to the chick peas, I hadn't realised you only get two peas to a pod, and looking at the circumference of the established plant, (very sprawly) I don't think the yield per square metre of ground is going to be value for time/effort.  I'd been hoping to get enough for storage.  Thanks for responses - I'll try again next year.
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