Harvesting broad beans

by Jane Moore

Broad beans need picking regularly to ensure the plants keep flowering and producing beans, so mine have inevitably stopped producing them.

Broad beansI really should practice what I preach. What with one thing or another, I haven't harvested my broad beans as regularly as I should have. I blame Paul. It was his job to pick the beans on our last visit to the plot; he obviously harvested the pretty ones, leaving the others to grow to gargantuan proportions.

Broad beans need picking regularly to ensure the plants keep flowering and producing beans, so mine have inevitably stopped cropping. The stems are laden with pods so large they're getting on for the size of a pencil case, and are horribly knobbly and deformed. The plants themselves are lush and happy, and have miraculously escaped the attentions of blackfly. But the beans are barely edible.

I won't be wasting the beans- this broad bean dip recipe looks interesting. I'll also save some of the larger ones as seed to sow next year - If I've learned anything from this batch it's that they're good croppers, and who knows, they may even possess a mysterious resistance to blackfly.

Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Harvesting broad beans
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 20/07/2008 at 20:57

Any tips on dealing with the blackfly please? First time growing runner beans myself and have just cropped them but noticed blackfly on some of the beans and I think they have been left a little too long as some are nearly 12" long now.

Gardeners' World Web User 01/12/2009 at 08:51

We live in the mountains outside Nelspruit, a sub tropical area in South Africa near the Mozambique border and w've planted broad beans for the first time. We are approximately 50 miles (80 km) from the coast as the crow flies at and our farm lies at an altitude of 4000ft. Broad beans are not usually grown in this area but the plants seem to be growing and producing well in temperatures exceeding 90F (32C) and as yet we haven't experienced any pest or disease problems although the runner beans growing alongside them have got rust due to prolonged torential rain. Nov rainfall was 365mm). The pods are currently about 4 inches (100mm) long and we're looking forward to harvesting them shortly. Any tips on the best way to prepare them for the table will be appreciated.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/11/2011 at 18:36

Top broad bean tip: Once your plants have finished cropping, cut the stems down to about 1in above the ground. New shoots will develop, which will flower and produce a second crop.