Overwintering Broad Bean Trial

Broad Bean Growing Trial - April 2014

Having planted our broad beans on the 6th October, we now have young broad bean pods emerging at the end of April. This is remarkably early, and perhaps equally notably, also devoid of black fly. We hope to be eating our broad beans within a fortnight.

It looks like a very positive result compared to our objectives when starting the overwintering broad bean trial (see our first post here). The very mild winter caused problems to only one of our varieties (Aquadulce Claudia), with about half the plants blackening and shrivelling in late winter (see photos below). These plants are now slowly recovering and will hopefully produce a harvest – albeit a little later than the other plants.

The other varieties (Luz De Otono and De Monica) have grown so strongly they needed to be thinned (to about 9″ or 25cm spacing). The Aquadulce Claudia plants that did not die back are actually the tallest and healthiest looking plants of them all.

The absence of black fly on the plants we are attributing to the time of year. It appears the warm spring weather has allowed our plants to sprint towards maturity before the black fly season has started. Previous spring sowings of broad beans on our plot have lead to the plants being covered with black fly by early summer.

We are now watching the weather forecast carefully, and hoping there is no sudden cold snap to kill off our harvest!

Sutton Seeds 720


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