Field Beans are an overwintering green manure and are generally winter hardy. They germinate well in colder weather from September-November.
Field Beans are particularly good on heavy soils and their deep roots are not only able to penetrate & break up the soil but fix nitrogen too. Its foliage will add some organic matter to the soil but to help suppress weeds further it is often sown with grazing rye.
Field beans are part of the legume family, therefore, sow after summer legumes to overwinter in a crop rotation plan. Follow with Brassicas and they will benefit from it as nitrogen helps to promote the green leafy growth that we eat e.g cabbages/kale.
Either cut down and dig in during spring or cut down, allow to re-grow and then dig in. Best to dig in before flowering and 3-4 weeks before area required for new seasons planting.
TO GROW FOR CONSUMPTION:
Not just for use as green manure...Field Beans are the same species as Broad Beans (Vicia faba) but they are a different variety producing smaller beans, the beans are about 1/2 the size of a normal broad bean They are more vigorous and reliable than broad beans and show better cold tolerance, so can be grown as a winter or spring crop. The plants are full size, bearing huge numbers of pods with 3 or 4 seeds packed closely together. The overall effect is usually a higher yield of beans from the same size plot.
And don't forget the leaves...too, eaten young they are a great addition to salads, resembling a milder rocket flavour. They can be cooked and eaten as a replacement for spinach....truly versatile!
Need Some Help On Green Manure?
Then we have 2 invaluable resources on our website that will provide the answers to all of your Green Manure questions:
1. A Beginners Guide that covers everything you ever wanted to know about Green Manure in 5 quick and simple steps - read it [HERE]
2. How To Choose Which Green Manure To Sow...a summary of all the Green Manures showing which soil types, plant families, and benefits that each Green Manure can bring to your veg patch or allotment - read it [HERE]
Field Beans Green Manure Seed Information
|When to Sow:
||February - April and September - November.
||Spring, Summer and Overwinter.
||Grows to a maximum height of c.40cm
|Ideal Soil Type:
||Clay, Heavy, Most.
|How to Sow:
Clear area of weeds especially perennials ones, rake soil to a fine tilth. Either sow 10cm apart in rows 20cm apart by 5cm deep or broadcast sow seed and dig in to a depth of 5cm, the spread will not be as even but on small domestic areas it may not be as important.
If sowing for consumption treat as a Broad Bean and sow as follows in February or March:
Sow 5cm deep in a double staggered row 20cm apart. If planting another double staggered row plant 50cm apart. If the soil is moist they can be pushed into the ground or alternatively dig a little hole with a hand trowel. Sow a few spare at the end of the row, so these can transplanted if there are some failures. Seedlings will germinate within 7-14 days. Water and keep well watered in dry periods.
||The green manure should be cut down before flowering when the stems are nice and soft as they decompose quicker, retain more beneficial nutrients and are easier to incorporate into the soil. They can be dug into the soil by turning over into the top 15cms or left on the top as a mulch, the worms will drag down the organic matter and help to aerate the soil.
||20 grams per square metre.
|Pack Weight / Area:
When to Sow Field Beans Green Manure Seeds
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