Broad beans: growing guide

Broad beans are excellent herbs : they have a very fast growth rate and are also very prolific. They do not require any special care so they are a suitable crop for beginners, even for those who do not have any experience in caring for plants.

They can be grown both in a pot and on the ground since their height does not exceed one and a half meters, which can serve as an excuse to decorate any corner. And it must be said that they have a fairly high ornamental value.

Index

  • 1 Characteristics of broad beans
  • 2 How are they grown?
    • 2.1 Sowing
      • 2.1.1 Potted
      • 2.1.2 In the orchard
    • 2.2 Maintenance
  • 3 What pests and diseases can it have?
    • 3.1 Pests
    • 3.2 Diseases
  • 4 Uses and properties of beans

Broad bean characteristics

vicia bean

Broad beans, whose scientific name is Vicia faba , are herbaceous climbing plants with an annual cycle , that is, they germinate, grow, flower, bear fruit and finally die in one year. They are native to the Middle East, belonging to the botanical family Leguminosaceae (legumes). They have a straight and upright bearing, with strong stems. The leaves are alternate, compound and paripinnate, they do not have tendrils.

The flowers are fragrant , large, up to 4cm, with white petals with violet, purple or black spots. They are hermaphrodites, that is, both male and female reproductive organs are in the same flower. The fruit is an elongated legume that measures between 10 and 30cm. Inside are between 2 and 9 seeds arranged in a row.

There are different varieties, the most used being the following:

  • Aguadulce : the stems are purple, the fruits are large and elongated, and the seeds are cream-colored.
  • Muchamiel : they have a medium size, reddish stems, and toasted cream-colored seeds.
  • Reina Mora : its seeds are purple.

How are they grown?

broad beans in the garden

Do you want to grow beans? If so, here we explain everything you need to know to have an excellent harvest:

Sowing

Broad bean seeds are recommended to be sown in early spring , either in a pot or directly in the ground. Let us know how to proceed in each case:

potted

  1. The first thing we have to do is fill a pot of about 13-15cm in diameter with universal growing substrate.
  2. Next, we place one or two broad bean seeds on the surface of the substrate, and bury them about 1cm.
  3. Then, we water well, leaving the soil well soaked.
  4. And finally we place the pot outside, in an area where it gets direct sunlight.

When roots come out of the drainage holes, it will be time to move them to pots with a larger diameter, such as 30-35cm.

In the garden

  1. Before sowing, it is important that we prepare the ground. To do this, it is advisable to go through with a motorized cultivator or motorized tiller to leave the soil loose.
  2. Next, we have to remove the stones, as many as we can.
  3. Then we level the ground with a rake.
  4. Now, we fertilize the ground with organic fertilizers, such as earthworm humus, for example, spreading a layer 5-7cm thick.
  5. We go back to raking.
  6. Then, we make the grooves with a depth of 5cm, leaving a minimum distance of 60cm between them.
  7. We place tutors to guide their growth.
  8. We spread the seeds trying to leave about 30cm of distance between them.
  9. We cover them with soil.
  10. And finally we water.

They will germinate very soon, after 15 days.

Maintenance

Once we have our plantation of broad beans, we must continue to care for them so that they can continue to grow and produce, when the time comes, a large quantity of fruit. To do this, you must do the following:

  • Irrigation : watering must be frequent, especially when they flower and bear fruit. Avoid letting the soil dry out excessively.
  • Fertilizer : throughout the season they should be fertilized with organic fertilizers, such as manure if they are on the ground, or with liquid guano if they are in a pot.
  • Pruning – Remove the newest leaves from the main stems once the pods have formed. This will ensure that they mature earlier and, incidentally, reduce the risk of aphids attacking them.
  • Harvest : the legumes are harvested before they dry out, 70 or 90 days after sowing.

What pests and diseases can it have?

aphid on broad beans

Although they are quite resistant plants, they have a series of enemies that must be kept under control:

pests

  • Black aphid : they are deposited on the ends of the stems and on the flowers. It is fought with Malation or Menazón.
  • Sitona : is a beetle that eats the leaves. It is treated with Carbaryl.
  • Lixus : is a beetle whose larva cuts down the stem of plants. It is treated with Trichlorfon or Lindane.
  • Pea thrips : leaves silver leaves and deforms legumes. They can be controlled fairly well by placing blue anti-thrips sticky traps at plant height.

Diseases

  • Mildew : causes the appearance of pale spots on the leaves. It is treated with Maneb, Zineb or Bordeaux broth.
  • Rust : causes the appearance of orange/reddish spots on the leaves. It is treated with Zineb or Maneb.
  • Sclerotial disease : causes the leaves and stems to have a cottony white mold that produces rot. It is treated with TMTD.
  • Jopo : is a parasitic plant that, like all parasites, feeds on the nutrients that it steals from the host plant, causing it to weaken and die shortly after. There is no effective remedy against it. The only thing that can be done to prevent its proliferation is to rotate the crops and destroy the jopos before they bear fruit.

Uses and properties of beans

broad beans

Broad beans can be used as an ornamental plant . They have a very pretty green color, and very decorative flowers so they can look great on a patio or terrace. But, without a doubt, its most widespread use is culinary . Both the legumes and the seeds can be eaten, and they are delicious both fresh and in soups or cooked.

Did you know that they have medicinal properties? Its flowers in infusion are diuretic, purifying and can relieve the symptoms of rheumatic diseases. Its seeds help reduce cholesterol levels, since they reduce and eliminate the fat present in the arteries.

And with this we end the beans special.

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