broad beans

This is my first time growing broad beans, I have a few that are about 4 in long, pod feels like there is beans inside, they were planted in april, is that about the size for picking.  Going to have them if they are ready with sea bass what's the best way to cook them.  thanks


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,787

    How lovely bluejan - they might be a little small yet tho' - the pods probably need to be about 6" or a bit more but it depends on the variety - you could try a few and see.

    If you've not had much rain lately and the ground is dry they could probably do with a good soaking about now to help the beans to swell.


    You can cook  them in their pods and eat them whole when they're very small.

    I think they're best when the beans themselves are just about the size of my thumbnail - pod them and plunge them in a pan of boiling slightly salted water for about 3 minutes - there's a fashion now for removing their 'little jackets', but if they're very fresh you don't need to do that.  

    I love them served with fresh parsley sauce - we had some last night but mine were planted back at the end of October and they overwintered and produced an early crop so we've been picking them for a while now and they're nearly over now.  

    If you want to do that another year, the variety Aquadulce Claudia is the best one for overwintering - mine were covered with at least 18" of snow for ages, but I didn't lose a single plant. 

    Enjoy - they're one of my favourite vegetables image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
  • bluejanbluejan Posts: 80

    Thank you Dove, just picked one the beans are about 2mm small so I will try them cooked in the pods.  The variety is Aquadulce Vicia faba.  The parsley sauce sounds good will try that as well.

  • bluejanbluejan Posts: 80

    When would you sow for overwintering, do you sow straight in the ground. thanks

  • I sowed Aquadulce  for overwintering in small pots in the GH. They grew to around 3-4 inches in the GH when I planted out during a mild spell in Feb. They didn't move at all during cold March , but I am now eating beautiful beans every day. Best ever

    You can also eat the plant tops which you should pinch out to discourage blackfly and encourage bean formation. You do this when the plant reaches  a good size with lots of flower, probably May, depending on weather.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 42,787

    I sowed  Aquadulce Claudia direct into the veg patch in late October/early November - they survived being under at least 18" of snow for what seemed like months, and I didn't lose a single plant.  I've done nothing to them but sow them, water them and pick them.  Fabulous return for virtually nothing!

    And yes, pick out the plant tops and steam them and serve with a knob of butter and black pepper image

    Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes. 
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