~ BROAD BEAN SEED ~
The main sowing season is in early spring, for harvest in summer. (dark green)
Some varieties are also suitable for sowing in autumn for an early crop the following year. (pale green)
'Aquadulce Longpod' Broad Bean
This is a venerable and well-respected broad bean. 'Aquadulce Longpod' is the result of hundreds of years of breeding and improvement - in our gardening book of 1885 it is described as 'in the highest state of development'.
The plants are quite early, and grow to about 3ft tall, bearing long pods with large flat pale seed inside.
We like this variety because as well as a normal sowing in Spring, it is hardy enough to try sowing in Autumn for an early crop the next year.
Although it can be killed by a very cold winter, usually it should survive to Spring. (It helps not to sow too early in autumn, as smaller plants are hardier than big ones.)
Alternatively, if you don't want to risk the winter cold, you can sow in Spring as usual and you'll get a perfectly good harvest, just a few weeks later.
We've made up reasonably generous packets, but they are very heavy to post, hence the price.
Traditional broad bean, this one is hardy enough to sow in autumn for an early crop the next year.
Order BBAq - packet of approx 48-52 seeds £
'Wizard' Field Bean
Field beans are smaller and more robust relatives of Broad Beans. The beans themselves are about 2/3 the size of a normal broad bean, and the plants are full size, bearing huge numbers of pods with 3 or 4 seed packed closely together in them. The overall effect is often a higher yield of beans from the same size plot.
'Wizard' is a modern pale-skinned variety which has been bred for table use and is very cold hardy, surviving over harsh winters when others die off.
It has particularly good flavour even when the seeds get mature, and does very well for us in our home garden, cropping over a longer period than our broad beans.
Tasty.Very hardy. Good for an autumn sowing in October.
Order BBWz - approx 48-52 seeds £
This is an old heirloom variety from the city of Leiden in Holland that is a fine example of the 'Bunyards Exhibition' type of broadbean - selected for particularly long pods. It gives a good yield of beans from a small space.
Leidse Hangdown is ideal for a spring sowing anytime from February through to late April, with early sowings best started in modules to avoid mice and slugs.
A really good flavoured traditional broad bean.
Order BBLH - approx 45 seeds £