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Good Enough To Eat; BROAD BEANS.

BROAD beans (Vicia faba) can be so bland and disappointing from the shops, that it's much better to have a go yourself with some tasty varieties such as 'Red Epicure'.

There are two main types - Longpods, used for autumn sowings, and Windsors, for spring sowing, which provide more flavour. I know it's a bit early, but if you have a greenhouse or coldframe, you can make the first sowing of broad beans, one bean per 7cm pot, now and then plant them out after hardening off in April.

Sowings can be made outdoors in early spring and cloched, sowing singly at about three or four to the foot and finger-deep in blocks, or in double rows with plants 20cm apart each way. Sow more than you need at the end of each row, then you have extras to fill any gaps.

Pinch out the tips of each stem once the beans have started to flower, which prevents black aphid attacks and makes pods swell sooner and larger, and hoe regularly to keep weeds at bay when the plants are small.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 22, 2008
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