Fava beans, unlike bush and pole beans, like growing (and perform best) in the cool weather. A good crop to sow along with your peas. They are actually a relative of vetch, not a true bean and have been cultivated for thousands of years around the world. The plant grows 3-4’, and pods form from white and black flowers along its length. Pods can can grow to 6” enclosing 3-5 large, elongated penny, sized beans. Green shell beans can be used like limas. If planted early, harvest will begin in July. A fall/winter harvest is possible with a late planting, especially in regions with mild winters 30-40 seeds (due to their size)
Germination- 4-10 days
Outside- Bush type: 1” deep and 4-6” apart with soil temperatures above 60 degrees and after the last frost. Planting under 60 degrees results in poor germination. Pole type: Plant 1” deep and 3- 4” apart for trellis/pole growth. Drying type: 1” deep and 5-6” apart. Leave beans on the plant until the leaves are falling and pods are dry and withered
Harvest- Before the seeds bulge and beans snap easily. Pick continually to prolong production.
Tips- Water well during hot dry period and do not over fertilize which results in a surplus of foliage and low, delayed pod growth. Adding inoculant at planting time aids in a larger harvest and more robust plants. Plant seeds every 2-3 weeks for continual harvest throughout the summer.