Beans & Peas

Easy to grow in the ground or in pots, beans and peas can be harvested all summer long. Follow our expert guidance for a bumper crop.

Homegrown Runner Beans

Runner Beans

Sowing Seed

Prepare soil in winter or early spring. Dig a trench 18” wide and fork in compost before replacing soil. Apply a general organic fertiliser 7-10 days before sowing e.g. poultry pellets, fish blood and bone, liquid feed occasionally during the cropping season.

Sowing Time

Sow in May

                  

Crop Care

Use 8ft supporting canes, poles or netting. Loosely tie young plants to the supports, so they can climb naturally. Protect from slugs. Hoe regularly and water well in dry weather – mulching will help to conserve moisture. When plants reach the top of the growing supports remove the growing points.

Harvesting

Pick regularly once the pods have reached a decent size 6-8”, but before the beans inside have started to swell. If you remove the pods as soon as they reach this stage, then harvesting should continue for at least 8 weeks.

After harvesting, cut off the stems at soil level. leave the roots in the ground, the roots release nitrogen into the soil - Good for the next crop!

Growing French Beans

French Beans Dwarf/Climbing

Sowing Seed

French Beans will succeed in most soils but they hate heavy clay. For really good results the soil should be well dug and raked to produce a fine tilth. For best results apply a balanced fertiliser, such as fish blood and bone, 7-10 days prior to sowing. Protect seedlings from slugs.

Sowing Time

April-May.

Crop Care

Hoe regularly to keep weeds down during the early stages of the crops life. Support plants with short twigs or pea sticks to prevent them from toppling over. Use twiggy branches or
netting for the climbing varieties. Water well if weather turns dry during or after the flowering period. Mulch around the stems in June. Once the pods have been harvested, apply a liquid feed so that a second crop can be obtained.

Harvesting

Begin picking when the pods are 4” long. A pod is ready if it snaps easily when bent and before the telltale bulges of maturity appear along its length. Pick several times a week to prevent pods maturing. Cropping should go on for 5-7 weeks. 

After harvesting, cut off the stems at soil level. leave the roots in the ground, the roots release nitrogen into the soil - Good for the next crop!

Broad Beans

Broad Beans

Sowing Seed

For best results apply a balanced fertiliser, such as Growmore or fish blood and bone, about 1 week before sowing.

Sowing Time

Sow from November to March.

Crop Care

Hoe regularly, to reduce weeds and water in dry weather. Support will be necessary for tall varieties. Pinch off the top 3” as soon as the first beans start to form. This will ensure an earlier harvest and also provide some degree of blackfly control. Spray if blackfly persist.

Harvesting

Pick when first pods are 2-3” long. When cropping has finished, dig plants into soil to provide a valuable green manure.

After harvesting, cut off the stems at soil level. leave the roots in the ground, the roots release nitrogen into the soil - Good for the next crop!

Peas Growing

Peas/Mangetout

Sowing Seed

Choose an open spot, which has not grown peas for 2 seasons. Apply a light dressing of Growmore fish blood and bone 7-10 days before sowing.

Sowing Time

Sow from mid-March onwards.

Crop Care

Protect rows from birds with netting or lines of black cotton before the seeds germinate. Hoe regularly and water during dry spells. When seedlings are 3” high, insert twiggy branches to provide support to stems. Do not delay this operation or slug damage may occur. Medium and tall varieties will need the extra support of a screen of netting next to each row.

Harvesting

A pod is ready for picking when it is well filled, but while there is still air space. Harvest peas from the bottom of the stem working upwards.

After harvesting, cut off the stems at soil level. leave the roots in the ground, the roots release nitrogen into the soil - Good for the next crop!