TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

August 5, 2009

Broad Bean Midwinter – a new strain

Filed under: pea&beans — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 8:22 am

Broad bean  Midwinter is an exciting  new strain  bred by Malcolm Allison.
The Midwinter strain is characterised by flowers in shades of pink & red and seeds that are red, or that turn purple at maturity. Malcolm is offering these new Midwinter  broad beans,  at £2.50 for 12 seeds, plus £1postage & packing. To buy  please get in touch or click the buy now button below.


“]Midwinter_beans[1]

Midwinter_beans

As well as being attractive, the plants produce delicious beans!
Malcolm has been selecting the strain for about 12 years & the plants breed fairly true, although every year he is careful to pull out any white-flowered plants & to discard any seeds that are green at maturity.
Malcolm explains the history of Midwinter’s development:
” in 1996 I was working at the Henry Doubleday Research Association (now Garden Organic) & one of the guardians of the Heritage Seed Library gave me seeds of the Crimson-Flowered broad bean (which has green seeds) & of a purple-seeded variety from Estonia (which has white flowers). I planted the two strains together on my allotment & harvested the seeds each year & looked out for plants that combined the characters of the two original varieties. In 2001, I added the variety ‘Red Epicure’ to the mix. ‘Red Epicure’ is a Victorian variety with which flowers, but which has beans that are red, even when very young (the seeds of the purple-seeded strain only develop the purple colour as they ripen i.e. after you’d want to eat them).
I have found that purple seeds of this strain will produce red-seeding plants & vice versa. I have to admit that ‘Midwinter Strain’ is for people keen on the aesthetics of their veg ~ productivity is very feeble compared to TopVeg’s  ‘Optima’.
I’ve called the strain ‘Midwinter’ because that’s the name of my allotment site & that’s when I plant them: I always plant them as soon after 1st January as I can.
I have tried sowing them in the autumn, but the plants all rotted after being frosted & the few that survived flowered no earlier than those sown in January. My soil is a very light, free-draining sand.”

The Midwinter broad bean plants grow to about 80cm tall.

If you’d like a starter pack of this Midwinter strain of broad beans, priced at £2.50 for 12 seeds, plus £1postage & packing,  please get in touch or click the buy now button below.


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