Winter Field Beans Growing Guide

Winter Field Beans

Crop Rotation Group

Legumes (Pea and Bean family) 

Soil

Any average, well drained soil.

Position

Full sun.

Frost tolerant

A cool-season annual, winter field beans can tolerate frost but are killed by temperatures below -12 to -9C (10-15F).

Feeding

When using winter field beans to improve very poor soil, mixing a balanced organic fertiliser into the soil before planting will give better results.

Companions

Wheat, Rye and Oats.

Spacing

Single Plants: 25cm (9") each way (minimum)
Rows: 20cm (7") with 40cm (1' 3") row gap (minimum)

Sow and Plant

Poke holes in prepared seedbed and plant seeds 5 cm (2in) deep. Winter field beans may be planted in late summer, or in very early spring. In milder areas they can be planted quite late into autumn.
Our Garden Planner can produce a personalized calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.

Notes

Primarily grown to increase soil nitrogen. Easier to turn under using hand tools compared to other green manures. Small-seeded varieties are best for green manure use.

Harvesting

For maximum nitrogen gain, chop plants down and turn them under as soon as they begin to bloom. You also can pull up the plants and compost them.

Troubleshooting

Winter field beans attract numerous beneficial insects. Do not grow them just before potatoes or other root crops, because field beans can host rootknot nematodes.

Planting and Harvesting Calendar

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Pests which Affect Winter Field Beans