Broad Beans Container Gardening Techniques
Today, we discuss the topic of broad beans container gardening Tips and Ideas. Broad beans are the ones which are not likely to be grown in the containers. The problem behind this is that they will become big in size. With most of the varieties, you will see that the height will be more than a meter. But you have a diverse range of varieties which are dwarf and this will solve the problem giving you all the advantages of broad beans without any disadvantages. They are simple plants for growing, they will grow their best in the weather which is cool. These will not be disturbed by pests in most of the cases.
After about fourteen weeks of the time of growing, they are also quick movers which makes them ideal for sowings which are staggered. You can sow them at the time of March you can start eating them by preparing at home by the time of June. This can be taken as a salad too.
For the people who are very curious to know about the history of the broad beans, these are the vegetables which are the oldest cultivated ones and these are most probably the first bean ever found on the earth. The age of these beans is approximately about 8000 years and they are the ones which are grown first in the Mediterranean region.
In this article, we will discuss how to grow broad beans in containers or broad beans container gardening tips.
Growing broad beans in containers:
Preparation of soil for growing broad beans:
- A perfect potting medium for the broad beans is the one which is fertilized well and is well-drained. You can even add an additional drainage material like composted bark, perlite or grit and a few handfuls of slow-release fertilizer. As an alternative, you can feed the soil with liquid on a weekly basis when the seedling has started to grow. The drainage material which you have added should be up to ⅓ rd of the potting mix.
- Apart from all these, you will need to keep in mind that the broad beans are not fussy. They can also be grown well in the soil which is already used for potting, mainly if you have decided to plant in the season of autumn. Always ensure that you are rejuvenating it with some amount of fertilizer.
- Broad beans hate the soil which is saturated with water. So make sure that you are having a very good drainage system mainly at the time of wet months.
Sowing and plantation of broad beans:
- The broad bean seeds have to be sown at a depth of about 5 inches with several in a pot based on the size. But always make sure that you are not overcrowding the seeds. You will need to allow a space of at least 6 inches in between the plants.
- You can sow the broad beans three times in a year. One time during the early autumn i.e., at the time of October or November, second is at the end of winter i.e., during the month of February till the end of the spring i.e., at the months of March to May. The third period is from March to May. The third period of the one which is the most common for the purpose of sowing. You will see fewer problems with frost during this period though you will have a great risk of the black bean aphids.
- When you are planting the broad beans at the time of October and November, you can choose a variety of broad bean which is resistant to cool temperatures and which is required for overwintering. City microclimates, well-sheltered spots are the ones which are the best ones to sow at this period of the year. Also, do your research and make sure that this variety would be suitable.
- When you are planting at the time of February, start the seedlings in the indoor locations and always be prepared to provide some sort of protection.
- When you are growing broad beans during the months of March to May, which is considered to be the main growing season of broad beans, you will need to stagger the sowing once in a month in order to get a good supply. The pods will start freezing in a good manner after they get harvested, so do not be worried about having too many pods.
Tips to grow broad beans in the container:
- If you are sowing at the time of autumn, you will need to give so much protection as required. The pots have to be bubble wrapped and make sure to have some amount of fleece to the hand when there is frost at the time of winter. Always keep monitoring the weather forecast and if you come to know that it is going to be a cold night, wrap the plants. In most of the cases, try to avoid keeping fleece on the plants for longer periods, as this will create an environment which is moist and is also perfect for the pests such as slugs. So make sure that you are removing the fleece whenever the weather becomes slightly warm.
- After about 50 days or so, you can feed the plants on a weekly basis with a liquid feed which is balanced if you did not add any slow-release fertilizer when preparing your potting soil medium. The exception to add a liquid feed is at the time of winter as the broad beans which are planted in the autumn will be dormant.
- The most important thing to keep in mind is that the plants will require a lot of water when the development of pods start. At this particular stage and mainly when the climate is dry, you will need to water the plants in a liberal way.
- If you have chosen a broad bean variety which is a dwarf one, staking is not required. For the varieties which are ordinary, you can put some canes of bamboo beside the young plants so that you can stake them when they are growing. Make sure that you are using the twine instead of the plastic ties.
- With the varieties which are dwarf, you will not be required to worry about pinching off. Else, when you see the pods of the first bean, tear off the top 2 inches which are present above a branch or leaf node by making use of your fingers. In this way, you can make sure that all the energy is being used in the pod formation. It will also stop black bean aphids which will love the shoots which are young. These can be consumed and will also be delicious. So there is no need to throw them away.
Harvesting the broad beans:
- The harvest of broad beans is completely based on your decision to either shell them or cool the pods completely. The general suggestion is that the pods which are having a length of more than 2 inches can be harvested.
- After the harvest is done, the plants will act as perfect fodder for the compost bin.
- For the purpose of shelling, you can choose to shell whenever a bulbous outline appears on the beans across the pod skin. You will need to do this before the scars of the beans will become brown in color indicating that they are now tough. They should be in the color of white or green.
Problems with pests in broad beans container gardening:
- Black bean aphids are the ones which are considered to be the main problem for broad beans. They are very tough to avoid as the large groups of these insects will occupy the leaves and stems. The tops have to be pinched once the formation of pods starts and this is the most important measure for the prevention of these pests. If you are not fortunate enough and your broad beans have been affected by them, scrape them by making use of an insecticide which is homemade until they disappear. You can use a soapy water mix and add a few drops of the liquid spray to a bottle of water and make sure that you are misting the area which is affected, This should be done for every five days till you see that the pests are disappeared.
- If you see the leaves are appearing blotchy with brown spots on them, it is an indication that your broad bean plants have been affected by chocolate spot. Unless it is considered to be chronic, this is a small matter of appearance and you can still consume the beans. The broad bean plants have to be given plenty amount of air and space if you see that the chocolate spots appeared.
- The other common problems will be such as downy mildew. For this, you can make use of a homemade pesticide.
- The seeds should always be discarded with little black holes present in them. These are mainly caused by the little grubs and they will not undergo the process of germination.
Storage of broad beans:
- The broad beans are the ones which are adaptable. When the beans are at the young stage, they can be consumed raw. The pods which are more matured can be cooked as a whole or shelled.
- The broad beans can also be dried or frozen. The beans are generally left on the plant so that they get dried before storage. They will need to be soaked for a complete night and also need a longer time to get cooked. Anyways, freezing is considered to be the best option. Choose the beans which are fresh, shell them and then blanch for a few beans before you keep them in a bag and freeze them. They can be kept for almost a year.
That’s all folks about container broad beans gardening.
Read: Natural Farming Practices.