Broad beans are a rather easy to grow legume. They are sometimes called fava beans and are not really a true bean. They are really related to vetch, which is another legume. Broad beans are hardy plants that grow into bushes and act as an annual. The plant produces white flowers that have brown splotches, which then turn into six to eight inch long pods. It is best to grow broad beans directly in the ground, as a container will not give the plant enough room to grow.
Grow broad beans when the weather is cool and averages 70 degrees or below. Planting the beans in late winter or early spring will offer temperatures best suited for them. If you grow the beans in warm weather, they will not produce any pods.
Select an area in your garden that receives full sunlight, to plant the broad beans. Broad beans require full sunlight to grow and produce bean pods. They will not tolerate growing in shady conditions.
Amend the soil in the planting area with peat, manure or compost. Broad beans prefer to grow in soil that drains well and is rich in organic matter. They will not tolerate growing in soil that is soggy or is prone to flooding conditions.
Plant the broad beans 1 inch deep into the soil. Space each seed approximately 5 inches apart and space each planting row approximately 20 inches apart. This will give the broad beans room to grow so the plants will not be crowded.
Water the seeds as soon as they are planted. Keep the soil moist by watering the area two to three times per week, depending on the weather in your particular area. Keep the soil in the planting area moist while the plant is producing flowers and pods. Do not flood the area with water.
Fertilizing the broad bean plants is not necessary once they have started growing. Planting them in a rich, organic soil is the only fertilization required. Harvest the broad beans in approximately 80 to 100 days, depending on what variety you are growing. The beans will be plump when they are ready to be picked.
Pinch off the top portion of the plant as it first begins to produce pods. This will cause the plant to branch out and produce more bean pods.