Monday, 12 November 2012

Autumn Growing - Broad Beans

Autumn Sown Broad Beans
Last month I wrote a post about -
Autumn Sowing - Broad Beans.

Four weeks on - and the beans are doing well. They have almost all germinated and are growing on nicely on my St Ives Cornwall allotment.

But - as the pic shows - this weekend the bed was in urgent need of weeding - so I got that done yesterday .......

One of my "lessons learned" from my first year on the plot has been that "little and often" is the best approach to weeding the beds. In Spring and early Summer I made the mistake of neglecting this task - and allowed the weeds to take over.

Allotment - St Ives Cornwall
This resulted in a major job to clear up the plot - I also got a "yellow card" letter from St Ives Town Council about "lack of cultivation".

As you can see (click on any of the pics to enlarge) - my allotment is now fairly neat and tidy.

I'll keep it that way through Winter - which will make life much easier when Spring eventually arrives.
Hoeing - Broad Beans
So - on to weeding.

My approach is to start with the hoe - running it in between the rows to uproot as many weeds a possible - taking care not to damage the baby bean plants.

Weeding - Broad Beans
I then run the trowel gently through the soil to loosen the weeds further - and pick them out by hand.

If you're short of time you can skip this - just use the hoe as above - and leave the weeds to wilt on the ground - although some will re-root themselves.

Weeding - Broad Beans
Its important to pull out any weeds growing close to the bean plants - as these will be the ones competing most closely with them.

This needs to be done by hand - as use of the hoe or trowel risks damaging the plants.

(BTW - hope you like the pink gloves - I've mislaid my green Man Gloves so had to use Jo's Girl Gloves !)

Autumn Sown Broad Beans
End result - a nice tidy good looking broad bean bed.  Plus - more importantly - space for my little plants to grow on through Autumn and Winter.

These should provide my first edible crop of the year - around late May if all goes well.

I love broad beans ! Can't wait for Spring !


  1. We're trying to plant through weed control to lesson the weeding a little. Our plot is just to wet to hoe at the moment and gloves end up caked in mud!

  2. Hi Sue - I've used black semi-permeable membrane before and it works pretty well for weed control. Might be worth putting some slug pellets down first though.

    1. We did put slug pellets under the fabric but I have to say we have been amazed at the lack of slug damage on the plants where membrane was used as opposed to the beds where it hasn't especially during such a wet season. Maybe the slugs can't emerge as easily. We expected the reverse

  3. Sounds good - and I might try it again myself. If you've got any pics post them on the Facebook page: