Aussies Living Simply

broad beans

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    As kid I didn’t like them so haven’t grown them !!!!

    however decided to give them a go this year, they came up well looking good when the marauding sheep got in and I was left with just one plant in among the roses.

    This is loaded with flowers, so far they are finished about half way up the stem but not one bean in sight.

    Do they need more than one plant to cross polinate ?

    Sorry to be so dumb but I am curious.


    They take a while, caddie. They are a year-long crop. Or about 8 or 9 months where I am anyway. When the flowers fade and fall off, check where they once were. You should see tiny bean pods beginning to form. These will slowly grow and become tender broad beans you can eat pod and all.

    Leave them a bit longer and it’s best to eat just the beans, without the pod. As Jamie Oliver says, they’re like beans that have been packaged in their own little post-it packs. The inside of the pod will have a downy fluff around each bean, and the pod will now be tough.

    Leave them longer still and the beans will toughen and dry out inside the pod and you can either use them like the dried beans you get at the shops or save them and plant them next year.


    Caddie, that always happens, just be patient, the beans need some warmer weather to set pods, they will come.



    Hey Caddie, this is the second year that I’ve grown them and BOTH times I’ve despaired that anything edible would come of them.

    I had just about given up this year, especially as my poor veggie patch has been pretty neglected, when lo and behold, guess what I spied all over the broadbean plants this weekend – yep, lovely 5-6 cm long little pods.

    So don’t give up yet – they do take forever to grow, but don’t need much attention.

    Bet you will change your mind after tasting your home grown ones! I like to let the beans inside get to a reasonable size and then blanch them and peel off the tough skin. Seems so wasteful to do that with store bought ones, but mine were so prolific last year it was the best way to enjoy them..

    You can also blanch and freeze any excess ones too.

    fluffy chookfluffy chook

    Hi Caddie:wave: I ‘ve found they take a long time..I usually plant them in early March here – they seem to need to get established when the weather is still warm. Mine have had edible pods since about the beginning of September and are still flowering.:D


    Yep they certainly seem to like warmer soil to grow in. Mine have been under snow and frost for some months which probably explains their lack of initiative!!


    Thank you for that.

    i was thinking I would feed the plant to the animals, I know bleeding sheep like them!

    Now I will wait patiently.

    Lady BeeLady Bee

    They need bees too. Are they buzzing around the flowers?


    I have jsut started picking them.

    They can be planted before or after the winter. I plant them before because I use the leafy tips in stir frys. They flower early, but it depends on temperature and bees to produce beans.

    Then ou can eat them as young beans (whole), bigger without the pods (like peas) and then even bigger when the outer skin inside the pod is tough and you need to skin the beans…. and eventually, you can keep the dried beans for soup or grind them to make falafel…. the last few I keep for seeds for next year.


    I use the leafy tips in stir frys.

    Wow, really?? Can you please elaborate Ejanea………

    how many leaves do you pick off the top,

    how often can you pick them,

    when do you have to stop and let the broadbeans just grow,

    just in stir fries ?- any other way to cook the tips

    Never thought to use the leafy tips – what a great idea!!!! Thanks Ejanea


    Yes I thought they needed bees but then began to wonder if they needed more than one plant

    There are bees around but I dont know if they are at the bean , shall have to have a closer look.

    fluffy chookfluffy chook

    What a versatile plant! I’ll have to try the leafy tips inn stir fry too:tup::)


    according to jackie frenchno matter when you plant them you can eat them sept/oct and I have found that to be true I don’rt plant them till may here home grown ones are certainly better than shop bought ones


    Remember Mum dreaded the broad bean crop from Dad’s garden – because he grew so many they’d sit for hours podding them, then Mum would have to do the blanching and freezing. They’d have enough to last all year. I never liked them for years till dad grew them in Melbourne.


    DH is the only person in this family that loves them. I will occassionaly have a couple.

    I usually put in 8 plants and we get enough beans for a 1yr and a 1/2. But i do admit to not making anything fancy with them. Just bang a handful in with the other steamed veg.

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