The broad bean, scientific name vicia beanis a legume plant which is especially useful as a fall or winter crop due to its ability to enrich the soil by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. Thanks to this, planting broad beans in our garden during the cold months, when in many cases the land is not used as much, is a great method to return nutrients to the soil in a totally natural way.
if you want to learn how to plant broad beans step by step in your own garden, join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which you will find a practical guide that will help you to easily have this plant at home and, thus, you will be able to enjoy these fresh and organic legumes.
When to plant beans
The most common is plant beans in fallbetween the months of September and October. As the broad bean has the ability to renew nitrogen in the soil, it is a very good option to take advantage of the cold months and give the land a break from more voracious species.
However, in areas with very cold winters, it is also common to plant broad beans later, already in spring, to protect them from excessively low temperatures.
How to plant beans step by step
take note of these tips and steps to plant broad beans at home:
- Prepare the soil: As it is not a demanding plant in terms of nutrients, the only thing that will be necessary to contribute to the soil is some organic matter in the form of manure, compost or earthworm humus. The broad bean does not really need a great contribution from it, but since it is common to use this crop to renew the soil, it is worth leaving it enriched for the next crop.
- Soak the beans: Once you have the soil enriched and aerated, leave the beans to soak in a bowl or jar overnight to help them stimulate their germination process.
- Plant the beans: When planting them, respect approximately 20 cm of distance between holes and 30 cm of distance between different rows, if you put several. It is highly recommended to put two seeds per hole, to ensure that at least one of them germinates. If it turns out that both germinate, it will be necessary to thin out later, leaving only the strongest plant.
- Water newly planted fava beans: As always, right after planting, you need to water them abundantly and keep the soil moist until the plants have germinated, which tends to take around 10 days. Depending on the species, in between 60 and 120 days our broad beans should be ready for harvest.
It is also possible to plant the broad beans in pots to have them on terraces or balconies. In these cases, a container of at least 5 liters will be necessary and follow the steps mentioned above in the preparation of the land.
It will be important to give the pot some support if there are strong winds in the area, since the plant could topple over.
Broad beans – basic care
These are the main factors that you should take into account about the basic bean plant care:
This is one of the most important points when growing broad beans, it may be the most important. These plants require a lots of sunlight to grow, so they are not a suitable crop for indoor or semi-shade conditions. Locate the broad bean plants in the brightest spot in your garden or terrace.
It is a plant that is not very demanding with temperature, although it develops better in temperate climates and without great thermal variations. Even so, as long as the temperatures are not extreme, your broad beans will develop properly, and they can tolerate even frosts of a few degrees below zero. However, with temperatures above 20ºC, especially at the time of planting, the seeds will not germinate properly.
As we have already mentioned, the broad bean enriches the soil rather than exhausting it, so with a small contribution of organic matter that provides some phosphorus and potassium, it will be enough. Of course, when it comes to drainage, you need a good one. The ideal pH is between 7.3 and 8.2.
The bean needs a fairly constant humidity, since small droughts or lack of water can do them a lot of damage. However, as in most cases, this does not mean that they can tolerate waterlogging, which can cause the appearance of fungi or the rotting of their roots. The most appropriate, therefore, is to use the drip irrigation or, instead, to frequent irrigations of little volume, that do not get to puddle.
We recommend you learn how to make a homemade drip irrigation system to use with broad bean plants, as well as learn about some of the best homemade fungicides, in case you want to use them preventively or if you need to use them on broad beans.
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