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Winter beans - edible?

PostPosted: 14 Apr 2009 10:44
by claire

I bought some winter bean plug plants from EBay last autumn but I can't see the listing anymore as it is more than 90 days old so I can't check any details, like what variety they are or how to cultivate them.

They've sat happily in my tiny veggie plot all winter and are now starting to put on a little growth slowly.

Can anyone tell me generally:

when they are likely to flower?
when I am likely to be able to harvest them?
whether they are edible by humans?
do I eat the whole pod or just the beans inside the pod?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

PostPosted: 02 May 2009 19:40
by gardening_guru
Hello Clare,

Without seeing the bean plants I would not 100% say eat them (they might have been intended as a non edible green manure crop)

See our glossary section for a definition of green manure

I would imagine they will flower soon, the flowers will develop into pods and then if they are edible you take the beans from the pods.

I think if they were described as winter beans they might well be broad beans which are hardy and planted in November time for an early summer crop.

If you decide not to eat them, cut off the stems and dig the roots into the plot, they will be of great benefit to the soil because they increase nitrogen levels because they have special nitrogen fixing nodules on their roots. Hence Green manure.