This dual purpose, disease resistant variety can be sown to overwinter for your earliest spring crops.
From sowing in spring De Monica is so fast growing and quick to mature it will be among your earliest cropping broad beans.
Plants have a strong upright habit with two to three stems per plant. Pods contain five or six large white flavoursome beans and are held off the ground so are kept clean and easy to pick.
Sow individual seeds in 8cm (3in) pots filled with seed compost and keep pots in a frost-free greenhouse while frosts are likely. Keep compost moist but not saturated at all times. Accustom the young plants to outside conditions by day for 2-3 weeks before planting them to their permanent position outdoors from April. Allow 60cm (24 in) between double rows and 10cm (4in) between plants.
Direct sow in May outdoors to a depth of 5cm (2in). Allow 10cm (4in) between plants. Broad beans are usually sown in double rows. Allow 25cm (10in) between rows and 60cm (24in) between double rows.
Water at the base of the plants generously mornings or evening from seedling stage. Water both mornings and evenings in particularly dry spells.
When in full-flower, pinch out the growing tips of the stems – this deters the pest blackfly.
If growing in an exposed site provide a windbreak to reduce wind-damage.
Pick the beans when they are as young as possible. Cook or stems them as pods or shell pods and add beans to salads.
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