A Broad beans don’t yield a massive crop for the space they take up, but the tenderness and flavour of young beans harvested from pods picked at precisely the best moment is worth the effort. Thrown into lightly salted boiling water, they cook in minutes. Mealier beans can be boiled, slipped out of their skins and mixed with olive oil, garlic and herbs as a hummus-like spread.
In spring, broad beans grow fast, and buying young plants in good condition can be a lottery; in fact, you almost need to be standing by their shelf when they arrive from the nursery. This is a crop better grown from seed usually sown in February undercover into seed trays or modules, or direct to soil when this is workable outdoors. Autumn sowings of hardy varieties are a great idea, unless you live in an exceptionally cold area. In colder regions, beans are sown in October but here in East Devon, I usually wait until early November. The aim is to have them germinate and grow sturdily to no more than 6in (15cm) high by Christmas. They bounce back from frosts and grow strongly as the weather warms in spring, delivering good, early crops that often beat blackfly.
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How To Add Colour In Autumn
If you want a hardworking perennial for autumn colour that thrives on neglect and provides food for insects, try planting hylotelephiums, says Louise Curley
Let's Know About Autumn Pests And Diseases
Get to grips with seasonal problems, says Ruth
Autumn Plant Recipes
It may be past summer, but you can still plant gorgeous containers to bring colour and beauty. Tamsin Hope Thomson offers three great ‘recipes’ and lots of tips
The clematis supremo
Delight to have plants blooming for Chelsea, says Peter
Plants left in the ground
A generous layer of mulch will insulate roots and tubers
Tender perennial care
It’s time to help tender varieties through winter, says Ruth
Winter moth prevention
Ruth shows you how to avoid maggoty tree fruits
Wishing on a Star…
What would you do for the right dahlia? Toby reveals how far he’ll go for one of his all-time floral favourites
Oranges and lemons
Try one of the following for citrus fragrance in your garden, says Christopher Lloyd
The cottage garden
A traditional cottage garden is just the ticket for Janet and Steve Howell’s 19th century home in Staffordshire, says Sue Bradley, as she explains the challenges they faced
This Is Your Mind on Plants – A Gardener's Awakening
Michael Pollan is the much-celebrated, much-discussed author of many books that explore the relationship between humans and what we consume, including The Omnivore’s Dilemma. His latest book is This Is Your Mind on Plants. It explores the relationship between humans and three plant products that have shaped human culture and history: caffeine, mescaline, and opium.
Jen Urquhart depicts scientifically accurate florals and botanicals in colored pencil
Tips and tricks for modern container gardening
Apply The Lessons You've Learned
It wasn’t by plan, design or choice, but the prepping community made great strides in 2020. While the year started the same as most, as we now know, it soon began to take on many of the attributes of scenarios a lot of us have spent years planning and preparing for.
Prime Time For Planting
Find Out Why Fall Is Perfect For Late-Season Gardening.
Grow It In A Greenhouse!
How to plan and build your own garden refuge
Simple Steps For Creating A Robust Indoor Garden
Grow garden-fresh ingredients year-round.
Grown With Love
At black barn farm in victoria, Jade Miles and her family enjoy a year-round harvest from their kitchen garden
The Basics Of Wheat Production
South African wheat growers have to compete with imports of the grain, which puts them under pressure to maximise production efficiency. Decisions on which cultivar to plant and the seeding density at planting have a major influence on yield, and ultimately profitability. Magda du Toit reports.
Your last chore for autumn is planting bulbs and the payoff will be wonderful