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.



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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