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How to Support Broad Beans

Broad beans are also known as fava beans, horse beans, English beans, European beans and Windsor beans, according to Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. They are grown for their meaty pods, which are picked while still immature, and used for cooking. Since the vines will grow to over 8 feet in height, they need a sturdy support system.

Poke three bamboo poles straight down into the ground in a triangle formation, at least 3 feet apart and 6 inches deep. This configuration will help prevent strong winds from blowing them over when they are covered with bean vines.

Pull the tops of the bamboo poles together and tie them with a section of twine, forming a secure structure for the beans to climb up. Knot off the twine to keep it from unravelling during the summer.

Plant two or three broad bean seeds at the base of each pole, thinning out the weakest after they sprout to leave one per pole.

Guide the bean tendrils up and around the bamboo poles as they grow until they reach the top. Secure hanging tendrils with a little twine if necessary to keep the plant climbing the pole.

Pinch the growing tip off the top of the bean plant when it reaches the top of the bamboo pole, forcing the plant to produce more side shoots without getting taller.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 bamboo poles, 6 to 7 feet long
  • Twine
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About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.