Legume fruit may seem a strange way to describe peas and beans, but these podded seeds of the legume plant are accurately described as fruits.
This group of our vegetable garden would commonly have broad beans, runner beans, mangetout, French beans and peas, but this important section of vegetable plants contains far more than these commonly grown varieties.
In fact, it was in the eighteenth century when the four field agricultural system of crop rotation was becoming established, that a fallow year of growing clover for animal grazing was being used, and as the green manure effect the legume group provides, the legume clover was important to add nitrogen to the soil.
Of course our use of this group is to provide an abundance of vegetables so rather than just allow these plants to give up their nitrogen, we would help the plant out by providing the perfect growing conditions for the plants to thrive.
Here is a list of legume plants that we grow.
Runner beans, first grown in the UK for their attractive flowers, not many vegetable gardens are created without the traditional runner bean frame. How to grow runner beans.
Garden peas, there is nothing quite like home grown peas, but eat when fresh as the fruit starts to turn sugar to carbohydrates as soon as they are picked. Fresher is sweeter. Smaller varieties are known as petit pois. How to grow peas.
French beans are a great addition to the vegetable garden, either as dwarf plants or as climbing beans. These beans are often known as fine beans and can be quite expensive in the supermarket.
Sugar snaps are another great pea to grow, like French beans they are eaten as a whole pod rather than shelling, they are both sweet and crunchy.
Mangetout is also a whole pod pea that carries a premium supermarket price. This pea climbs on a frame and will provide you with a glut of vegetables.
Broad bean is another garden favourite, it is often the first vegetable to harvest, and when picked young, this bean is tender and delicious. growing broad beans.
Although this in no way exhausts the legume fruit that you will find in your kitchen, this list does represent the most popular vegetable garden plot legumes.
Other legumes you could grow would be peanuts, lentils, chickpeas, haricot beans, fagioli and chili beans, but the legume fruits we also love are coco, soybean, black beans and pecan.
As you can see there is quite a variety of plants in the legume group, and although they are pretty much problem free, there are a few insects and diseases to look out for. Take a look at the growing legumes from seed page, tips and advice.