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Jenny's Hobby Farm

Jenny set up a hobby farm in the Canadian West Coast Rain Forest, clearing the land with pigs and raising ready-to-lay hens to sell. The books and articles on this web site represent knowledge which she has accumulated during this time.

How to Plant Broad Beans in Pots Using Inoculant
by Jenny

Future book - Working with nature to grow almost pest-free, organic vegetables
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I have been experimenting with using heirloom and wild flowers in among my vegetables to attract beneficial insects, which then attack the pests of my vegetables.

My videos show my progress throughout the year.

How to Plant Broad Beans in Pots Using Inoculant

Video Transcription - How to Plant Broad Beans in Pots Using Inoculant

When you coat wet bean seeds with inoculant before you plant them, the bacteria in the inoculant cause the beans to make nitrogen-fixing nodules on the roots. These nodules take as much nitrogen out of the air as the beans need, and no more. If you add too much nitrogen fertilizer to the soil as well, you will promote sappy growth in the bean stalks which will attract black aphids.

Broad beans can be planted either in the fall or in the very early spring when the first spring flowers, like these snowdrops, are starting to appear. The beans may not survive very harsh winters, but a little bit of frost does not seem to harm them.

I sprout my broad beans in a jar like this. This is a special lid made for sprouting seeds, that you can find for sale on the internet, or maybe in an organic store. This is just an ordinary mason jar. I put the seeds into a mason jar and fill it with water, leaving them to soak for 24 hours. Then I tip out the water. After that, I rinse the seeds once a day in clean water and drain them. After 3 or 4 days you will find that your beans have sprouted. There's one that has sprouted. You can see the radical coming out near the scar on one end. Its going to go in the ground with the scar and radical pointing downwards. Now I have to get my pot.

I make my own potting soil of about 2/3 compost, 1/3 peat and 1/3 garden grade vermiculite. I also add a bit of perlite for drainage, and lime and fertilizer as needed. However, the beans should not need nitrogen fertilizer if you use inoculant.

I am going to make my holes about 2 inches deep, so I use this stick as a guide. The radical is going to point down, and then I cover it up. Now I need another 5 holes in the pot - 2, 3, 4 , 5, 6.

I forgot to put the inoculant on the first bean, so here is the inoculant. It's a dark brown powder. I have already done the rest of the beans, but I actually put about a teaspoonful of inoculant in the pot on top of the damp beans, like that, and then you put the lid on the pot and shake it all about, just gently so as not to damage the radicals. Then, there are your beans all covered in goopy brown inocculant.

There's the bean all covered in it's inoculant. Put them, eye-side down into the holes you have just made in the soil in the pot. 1, 2, 3, 4 , 5, 6. And that is all there is to it. Fill up the holes, cover them in, and put your label on the pot. Those are my broad beans, and there are still some left to plant in other pots.

You can follow my progress throughout the year by watching more of my videos at




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