Beans ~ Broad, Runner and Borlotti

I’ll be  growing the following beans this year.

Broad bean Medes is said to be a delicious variety which produces a good yield of mid sized pods,  and has also been given an RHS Award of Garden Merit. It’s also notable for having all white flowers rather than the more usual white and black ones.

Broad bean Crimson Flour’d is a 18th century variety that has fragrant deep red flowers, and small upright green pods.  Georgie very kindly sent me a handful of these unusual heritage seeds. If they grow okay then I shall definitely save some to grow again next year.

Broad beans are the first vegetable seeds  that I’ll be sowing from March onwards .  Last year I had no luck at all with them as they became infested with  blackfly despite pitching the tops out and spraying them. I ended up pulling them up and putting them on the compost heap.  Apparently putting the seeds in the fridge for a week or so before sowing prevents blackfly, which has got to be worth trying…if I remember!

Runner bean Desiree is both white seeded and flowered. If what’s written about this variety  is correct then it looks like being a real winner! These won’t get sown until late May and once the pods get to around six inches I should be picking these runners from August through to at least late September.

Borlotti beans are said to have exceptional flavour, with the seeds and pods both being  distinctively speckled. Plot neighbour Joe kindly gave me some which I’ll be growing for the first time.   I’ll be sowing them in late May and should be picking the pods towards the end of August onwards.

There are plenty of bean recipes in my new cookbook including the tasty looking, and quick to cook, sweet & sour beans!


About Flighty

...allotmenteer, armchair gardener, blogger and sofa flyer.
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18 Responses to Beans ~ Broad, Runner and Borlotti

  1. Jo says:

    I think I’m only going to grow French beans this year, but lots of varieties. I’ve got some which climb, some which are dwarf, some purple, some green and some yellow. I’m hoping to get a good crop so that I can freeze some for over winter as I love my beans. Your varieties sound interesting, do let us know how they do for you.

    • Flighty says:

      Jo that sounds like a good, and colourful, idea!
      I really like beans as well but don’t bother freezing them as they all get used as I go.
      I”ll most certainly do that! xx

  2. louise says:

    It’s funny. I don’t like broad beans, but I could eat runner beans until the cows come home! I can’t comment on Borlotti beans, as I haven’t ever eaten them as a vegetable as such, but may have had them disguised in soup. x

  3. menhir says:

    I do love Borlotti beans, to date though, I only get them tinned. However, in the past, I have been known to enjoy fresh runner beans and broad beans from the stalk.


  4. Georgie says:

    Ah, I’d forgotten about those, Flighty. They have the most lovely flowers and blackfly was not a problem. Good luck with them.

    G x

  5. Ellie says:

    I love beans – they are my favourite vegetable. I too lost my crop of broad beans to blackfly last year. This year, I’ve tried autumn sowing (well, winter as I was a bit late) and they have emerged in trays in the greenhouse, much to my surprise. I suppose it is the equivalent of chilling the seeds, though I shall try that too. x

    • Flighty says:

      Ellie it was a really bad year for blackfly so fingers crossed for this year. With the continuing cold, wet weather I think that my planting and sowing is going to be at least several weeks later than planned. xx

  6. nikkipolani says:

    What a bonus that they’ll have pretty flowers as well as edible beans as they grow 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing them progress (and hopefully black-fly-free).

  7. Glo says:

    It looks to me that Plot 124 will eventually become ‘Bean Stalk Country’. 😉 It will be interesting to monitor the progress of the varieties…of course the weather has to improve first, as you say, so you can start planting. One day!

    • Flighty says:

      Glo you could be right, especially as I may be growing another one as well!
      Fingers crossed that we get a drier, warm spring to make up for this long cold winter. Make that one day soon! xx

  8. we sometimes have a harder go with the white bean seeds… they are not too fond of our cool weather in Maine. but i always love trying out different heirloom varieties each summer. i’m going to keep an eye out for those Borlotti beans… they look yummy.

    • Flighty says:

      Allison@a tasteful garden after this cold winter I’m hoping for a really good spring and summer!
      I think that I’ll try and grow one or two heirloom vegetables every year.
      Borlotti beans taste every bit as good as they look! xx

  9. Carrie says:

    Oh how I love beans!! I tried to read your blog whilst away but a very poor internet connection in the middle of snowy rural Fermanagh has obviously meant none of my comments made it. Grr. Thank you for being my Valentine but I deleted that post in honour of Bobby, I felt it was too frivolous too soon. Kisses x

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