Autumn Sown Broad Beans
Easy vegetables to sow now are broad beans. Aquadulce Claudia is the favourite for autumn sowing. Other suitable hardy longpod varieties include Masterpiece Green Longpod or (Super ) Aguadulce. If you need a more compact variety try Suttons Dwarf or The Sutton as it has some resistance to cold.
Sow the seeds 5cm (2in) deep as a double row in a sheltered spot that gets some sun. Space the seeds about 15-20cm (6-8in) apart in a zigzag fashion to get a double row. Sow a few extra beans at the end of each row to fill any gaps. An option is to sow your broad beans in pots if you struggle with soggy soil in the winter.
They won’t need much looking after, keep weed free and cover with a few layers of newspapers or fleece if temperatures really plunge. These varieties grow better with a bit of support (belt but no braces) to stop them flopping over in the gales.
Remove temptation for black bean aphids and pinch out the succulent tips of the plants when the beans are still in flower and before the pods form. This encourages the pods to fill out too. Use the tips as a delicious substitute for spinach/dark greens
For an early veggie treat pick the pods when they are just 5cm (2in) long to cook whole. Or grow to full size before picking and shelling the beans.
Grow some summer savory alongside your broad beans, as a flavoursome accompaniment to your cooked beans whilst helping divert aphids from your beans as they grow as companion plants.