Most commonly grown are white and green broad beans, but for interest, you may like to try growing red broad beans. The pods are still green, but the beans inside the pods are red.
For a spring harvest, look for varieties that can be overwintered. The beans are planted in the autumn, and the small plants survive the winter before accelerating into flower and pods in the following spring. In particularly cold areas, or when very cold weather is predicted, the plants may need covering with a cloche or fleece to protect the plants.
An alternative to overwintering is to look for varieties of broad beans that can be sown from February onward, or varieties that grow and mature to harvest quickly (although these may have smaller pods). I have found this to be the most reliable method for securing a good harvest on my plot.
If space is limited, it is possible to plant dwarf varieties of broad beans in pots. If these pots are positioned in a sheltered spot, and seeds are sown successionally, it is possible to achieve a harvest of broad beans over many months. Broad beans freeze very well (blanche in hot water and double pod).
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