An abundant cropper in recent trials and the winner of a Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, Optica is an excellent modern variety.
Lower growing than many broad beans, it is therefore well suited to even small gardens. It yields 5 or 6 white beans per pod, and if picked when very young the pods can also be eaten.
Optica has an outstanding flavour and the beans freeze well for future eating. We recommend this variety most highly.
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How to Guide
Seeds can also be sown individually in 8cm (3in) pots of seed compost. After sowing, place pots in a cold frame or unheated greenhouse.
Keep moist but not saturated. Gradually accustom plants to outside conditions before setting them out from April onwards to their cropping positions at the spacings given above. This often gives an earlier crop than outdoor sowings.
Sow individual seeds 5cm (2in) deep and 10cm (4in) apart. Broad beans are usually sown in double rows about 25cm (10in) apart. Allow 60cm (24in) between each set of double rows.
To deter blackfly (sometimes a problem on broad beans) pinch out the growing tips of the plants when they are in full flower.