Broad beans are known by many names, including fava beans, English bean and pigeon beans. The beans themselves can be a wide variety of colours and sizes but get their name from the wide, broad pod in which they grow. Broad beans require a long, cool growing season and are often planted as part of a fall or early spring garden. Broad beans, like many other beans, need to be staked to keep the developing beans off the ground and allow for easier harvesting.
Allow the broad bean plants to grow, unstaked, until they reach a length of around 12 inches.
Pound a 1-inch-by-1-inch by 10-foot wooden plant stake at least 1 foot into the ground between two broad bean plants. If you have more than one row of broad beans, you can pound the stake centred between the rows, which will allow four plants to be tied to one stake.
Carefully bring the vine of the broad bean plant to the stake.
Loosely tie the vine to the stake using plant tape. If you don't have plant tape, you can use strips of old pantyhose.
Secure the plants to the stakes every 4 to 6 inches. This will keep the plant from drooping back to the ground.
Once harvested, shell the beans while they are still in the green stage and cook. Once shelled, the beans can be blanched and frozen for later use.
Tips and warnings
- Once harvested, shell the beans while they are still in the green stage and cook.
- Once shelled, the beans can be blanched and frozen for later use.