Broad beans, broad beans


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General

Broad beans (Vicia faba), also known as broad beans, are the Fabaceae. Their botanical name Vicia faba reveals that they belong to the vetches and not to the genus of beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) as the kidney beans.
Archaeological findings prove that thick beans in the Mediterranean area were cultivated as early as 3000 BC and valued as an important source of protein. However, the then cultivated beans were slightly smaller than today. In Europe - where it was cultivated mainly in the cool-humid climate of the North Sea coast - was the thick bean with its high protein content, especially in the Middle Ages as an important food plant, as they dried dried excellent storage. Their common name "Puffbohne" comes from the Middle High German word "buffe", which means bulging and pointing to the filled pods. Also known as "broad bean" or "horse bean" the vegetables are known, indicating their use as cattle feed. The beans in the kitchen gradually lost their meaning and were replaced by potatoes. Today they are especially appreciated in the Mediterranean cuisine. After being voted "Vegetables of the Year" in 2004, and legumes just as important in vegan cooking, the beans are slowly regaining their place in the garden. They contain not only high quality protein, but also fiber, vitamins, iron and calcium. In addition, they have positive effects on cholesterol levels.

The Thick Bean is an annual herbaceous plant whose four-sided hollow main stalk can grow up to 1.5 meters high. The plant forms strong pile and branched lateral roots. After the round to ovate leaves appear from mid-May in the leaf axils large fragrant butterfly flowers. Both self- and cross-pollination by nearby growing varieties is possible. After 90 days, the first pods, which are initially greenish and at maturity brown to black, ripen at the lower stem portion. They are 10 to 20 inches long and one to three inches thick. Inside you will find three to four seed chambers with grains that are colored light green, green-brown or purple depending on the variety.

Broad beans flowers

Broad beans bloom white, rarely red

Location and ground

Thick beans are relatively undemanding. They thrive on heavy, damp soils in a sheltered position and can even cope with calcareous soils. While they do not like hot and dry weather conditions, they grow especially in the maritime climate with high humidity and lots of rain. They thrive especially well if you incorporate some compost or manure into the ground before planting.

Sowing and planting

In the case of thick beans, the preference is often for preference due to the long tap roots and the high resistance to cold of the plants. In principle, however, it is possible to sow the plants individually in small pots so that they do not have to be piked. The early seedlings can be planted after curing from mid to late March with a planting distance of 20 centimeters and 40 centimeters row spacing in the bed. Earlier plants are ready for harvest earlier and are therefore not so heavily attacked by aphids.

Nonetheless, no-till is still common in the bed. Early sowing from late February to mid-March, the plants benefit from the still winter moist soil, develop rapidly and put on more flowers and pods. Late-seeded beans bloom earlier in comparison, but then develop fewer pods. In general, you can start sowing once the soil is completely dry and the soil temperature is at least five degrees Celsius.

The stock must not be set too tight, a generous row spacing promotes flower formation. The distance between the seeds should be about 20 centimeters depending on the size of the variety, the sowing depth should be about five centimeters. One can sow in groups, in single rows with 40 centimeters or in staggered double rows with 60 centimeters distance.

maintenance

Since nitrogenous nodule bacteria form at the roots of the beans, beans need no further fertilization. They leave an optimally supplied soil for subcultures. A mulch layer around the seedlings keeps the soil moist and stimulates growth. In order to provide more stability, they should keep the vegetable bed weed-free and pile the plants. Thick beans need a lot of water during flowering so you should water them regularly. High varieties can be supported with rods or rods.

Harvest and storage

Depending on the variety and weather, the pods mature 90 to 120 days after sowing. Harvest the whole pods when the bean seeds are clearly visible.To start the cores, break the sleeves lengthwise and peel the seeds out. To get 500 grams of broad bean cores, you will need about two kilograms of pods. The kernels should only be eaten cooked. After being blanched and quenched, you can either prepare the beans immediately or freeze them. Closed pods are stable in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Open sleeve

The inner tube contains between three and six individual beans, depending on the variety

Mixed culture partner and crop rotation

With thick beans, you should have a cultivation period of three to five years before being cultivated again on the same bed. Cabbage, tomatoes or celery have proven to be good aftercultures.

sorts

Particularly tasty are the early variety 'Witkiem' with long thick pods and white seeds as well as the variety 'Groot beans' rediscovered in East Frisia. 'Windsor' delivers three to five light brown seeds 75 days after sowing, which are also suitable for drying. 'Piccola' has five to six apple-green seeds in each pod. The approximately 90 centimeters high plants are stable and resistant to the focal spot disease. Widely used and proven is the variety 'triple white' with pure white flowers and seeds.

Diseases and pests

Relatively common are black bean lice, which can greatly weaken the plant. As a precaution, you should sow the plants as early as possible and break off the shoot tips if infested. In addition, spraying with tea from rhubarb leaves or nettle extracts may help.

In wet years, black molds, chocolate spot disease, and field bean mosaic virus transmitted by aphids can be manifested by a dark coating or a mosaic-like lightening of the leaves. In case of infestation, the plants must be disposed of - but not on the compost. Preventively, it is important not to sow too densely and as early as possible in the year.

Chocolate-colored patches on the leaf

Numerous chocolate-colored spots with a bright center indicate the chocolate spot disease

Video Board: Ways to grow and pick broad beans, showing results of sowing both autumn and spring.

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