A CLASSY BROAD
They may not look pretty (the broad beans; not my hands), but these winter toughies will germinate even where night temperatures plunge below zero, and they’re brilliant in salads and stir-fries or teamed with bacon in pasta, and it’s now a` la mode to puree them with mint or pecorino.
Sow broad bean seeds successively between now and midJune. Soak the seed overnight, then plant them directly into prepared soil at a depth of 4cm and 15cm apart. Most varieties grow to at least 1m high so will require staking. Water seeds deeply after planting, then make sure you give them adequate water throughout the growing season, particularly when they flower and set seed pods. Kings Seeds sell both ‘Dwarf Early Green’ and ‘Superaguadulce’ which both mature 75 days after planting.
Broad beans are prolific producers but need to be picked regularly to keep them coming on. For podded beans, pick the pods when they reach about 30cm long and as thick as your thumb. Once they’re too big they tend to lose their