Broad Bean 'Aquadulce'
A true heirloom cool season broad bean that has been popular in gardens for over 100 years, this variety was originally referred to as 'Agua Dulce Long-Podded' by Vilmorin in 1885, reflecting its Spanish heritage. Nowadays, it is commonly called 'Aquadulce' which also translates as "sweet water". The young tender beans are delicious either braised or used fresh in salads, while older beans can be blanched and shelled to reveal the treasure inside.
Broad beans can be planted from autumn to spring, but must be done so that they finish flowering before the daytime temperature reaches 20 deg C. Preferring slightly alkaline soil, the addition of some lime is beneficial in more acidic soils. Although they are prone to wind damage, they need a reasonable amount of air circulation to prevent fungal diseases. The best solution is to place stakes at the end of the rows and tie string from stake to stake to support them. Pinch 10cm off the top of the plants as the flowers are fading to help 'set' the pods.