Broad Bean

Vicia faba

Fava Bean, Faba Bean, Horse Bean, Field Bean, English Bean, Small Bean, Tick Bean, Windsor Bean, Bell-Bean, Broad-Bean, Faba-Bean

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Vicia faba is an annual species from the Fabaceae family, commonly known by the names Broad Bean, Faba Bean and Fava Bean, amongst many others. Preferring cool and moist conditions, this bean makes a reliable winter crop. Establishing itself very quickly, it is an ideal variety for children to grow. The glossy plump pods produce tender meaty white beans, that when cooked have a lovely creamy texture. Broad beans are part of the legume family, adding Nitrogen to the area planted with the help of mycorrhizal organisms. It serves as a soil conditioner for new soils or depleted areas and is important in the rotation of vegetable beds. The Greeks and Romans used the broad bean for balloting, black seeds to signify opposition and white seeds agreement. This custom lingered in England in the election of the king and queen for Twelfth Night, where a bean was baked into a cake, and the man in whose portion it was found became King of the Bean and leader of the celebrations for the night.
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Planning

Difficulty

Moderate

Flowering time

Spring

Fruiting time

Spring, Summer

Harvesting

Broad beans can be harvested throughout late Spring and early Summer. Flowers and pods are ready to harvest within 3 to 4 months of sowing.

Propagation

Seed

Soak beans between 2-3 hours. Sow during autumn and winter. Space each seed 20 cm apart and plant to a depth of 25 mm. The average germination time is 10 days.

Special features

Crop rotation

The bean is Nitrogen fixing, therefore broccoli, kale or cabbage are an ideal next crop.

Attractive flowers

Attracts bees

Special features

Origin

Eurasia

Natural climate

Temperate

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam, Sand, Compost, Chalk

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Acid, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Culinary

Used in a variety of dishes as well as being eaten boiled.

Personality

Family

Fabaceae

Flower colour

White, Black, Purple

Scent

None
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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