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Vicia Faba These beans grow best on rich, moist soil, and are quite hardy. Some varieties are sown in October or November and with a little protection from slugs will overwinter and produce an early crop. They can also be sown from late February until July for successional crops. Seed can be sown directly in the ground, usually in double rows. The seeds should be 5cm apart in rows 20cm apart and the pairs of rows 60cm apart. Seed can also be started in modules under cover and planted out. Protect the emerging seedlings from slugs. Taller varieties Aquadulce, Bowlands Beauty will need to be supported or they will fall over, Crimson Flowered Broad beans are shorter and stand up on their own. The Beans can be harvested as soon as the beans in the pods can be felt to be of a reasonable size. Pick the pods by carefully tearing downwards.

To save seed for the following year, allow the pods to mature and turn black, before harvesting. Finish off drying indoors. To test for dryness hit with a hammer. If they shatter, as opposed to squash, they are dry enough to store. Broad beans are pollinated by bees and will cross pollinate with other broad beans so if you want to keep a variety pure it must be isolated from other broad bean varieties but several hundred meters.

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Ratio Broad Bean Vicia faba Early and productive broad bean, good flavour and not too tall so not prone to lodging. Average 15 seeds per packet. Grown by Jason Horner.
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