Broad Bean, Fava Bean. Fava beans are a great spring vegetable for a Sunnyvale garden. It grows to be a bushy plant, two to seven feet tall. Fava beans have erect, coarse stems and large leaves without climbing tendrils. The white or purplish flowers are born in clusters on short stalks in the axils of the leaves. Fava beans are a determinate type (meaning all the beans ripen at the same time).
The large-seeded varieties bear 1 or 2 pods at each node while the small-seeded types produce from 2-5 pods. The pods produced are up to 18 inches long and contain from 3-12 large beans.
There are about 15 pods per stalk on the large types and 60 pods on plants of the small-seeded varieties.
When stored under favorable conditions, most bean seeds have a life expectancy of 3 years.
The dry beans are about 24% protein, 2% fat, and 50% carbohydrate, and have 700 calories per cup.
The fava bean is a cool-season annual legume and is usually planted February and March in California for vegetable use. Optimum growing temperatures are 70-80 degrees F. The plant is resistant to frost damage to at least 21 degrees F, but does not do well under summer heat of the interior valleys, especially during flower/pod set. The seeds should be planted about one to two inches deep (large varieties) into well prepared soil, three to five inches apart. Germination takes place in 7 to 14 days. Since they will grow into small bushes, the sprouted seeds should be thinned to 8 to l0 inches apart (this may not be practical), allowing two to three feet between rows for seed production.
Because they are of the legume family, fava beans do not need nitrogen fertilizer if the plants are properly nodulated.
Select the pods when they are green, thick and have a glossy sheen. These should be well filled with large beans. The raw bean can then be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Fava beans are reported to be susceptible to aphid and bean weevil attack. Some rotenone products are registered for weevil control on beans. Ladybird beetles and some small parasitic wasps can be effective in controlling aphids. Several products containing diazinon or malathion are registered for aphid control on beans. As with all pesticides, make sure the label specifies your intended uses, and follow the directions carefully.
Genus: Vicia (VIK-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: faba (FAH-va) (Info)
Category: Annuals, Vegetables
Height:Unknown – Tell us
Spacing:Unknown – Tell us
Seed Type:Unknown – Tell us
Growth Habit:Unknown – Tell us
Sun Exposure:Full Sun
Danger:Unknown – Tell us
Days to Maturity:Unknown – Tell us
Bloom Color:Unknown – Tell us
Soil pH requirements:Unknown – Tell us
Propagation Methods:From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting:Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seedsProperly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
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