• The Chichester Gardener

Gardening with Children - Sowing Broad Beans.


Gardening with your child is a great way to not only get them off your phone and outdoors, but is a great way of getting them to learn where food comes from.

Toddlers love getting mucky and there can be no better way than sowing seeds, playing with soil and even finding a little wiggly worm to inspect!

This time of year is great to start sowing some broad beans (full of protein and vit C) - yes I know what toddler might actually dare to eat a broad bean but you'd be surprised when they have been part of growing and cooking it. They're great just on their own or very toddler friendly mixed into scrambled eggs or on toast with melted cheese!

When sowing seeds with children it's the bigger the better and broad beans are some of the biggest. This time of year you can sow them direct into the soil or indoors in pots for a quicker result.

Direct sowing:

Sow 2-3in deep and 6-9in apart in good soil or compost and water.

Once a foot or so high stake with a cane for support and tie in with string (What toddler doesn't love playing with sticks!)

When the flowers appear make sure you water for a good crop and pinch/cut off the top 3in of the plant when the first beans appear.

Once the beans are 3in long start picking, cook and eat!

Indoor sowing:

Fill a smallish 9cm pot with compost almost to the top, make a hole with a finger 2in deep and drop the bean seed in, then cover with compost.

Water and keep somewhere in view such as a window sill so you can watch it germinate!

Once the plant is a foot or so high remove the pot and plant it in the ground outside and stake.

When the flowers appear make sure you water for a good crop and pinch/cut off the top 3in of the plant when the first beans appear.

Once the beans are 3in long start picking, cook and eat!

Broad beans often get black fly/aphids - instead of spraying with something nasty try using a home made garlic spray. Get an old spray bottle and wash thoroughly, fill 2/3 with water, add a few drops of washing up liquid & 3 crushed garlic cloves and let it brew for 24hrs. Then let your child spray the aphids to their hearts delight!

#Gardeningwithchildren