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we followed the video and touch wood seem to begrowing fine.but when should we be picking them?
what are the black bits on my broad beans please

Hi Wally - are you talking about chocolate spot on the leaves, or a little black line on the edge of the bean itself?

If the latter,  it's a mark that appears on slightly older beans (means they're a little 'over ripe' so pick them earlier in future).  No problem, if the beans are a little 'floury' in taste then cooke them and pop the little pale green skin jackets off before serving (a bit time consuming but worth it).  

I have to surround mine with a lowish barrier of heavy duty plastic sheet, dug into the ground. If I don't, field mice will get them as soon as a shoot emerges.

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