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Growing Beans - broad beans, fava beans, also Fava bean

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
      P P     P P      

(Best months for growing Beans - broad beans, fava beans in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 43°F and 75°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 6 - 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 12-22 weeks. Pick frequently to encourage more pods.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dill, Potatoes
  • Broad bean flowering
    Broad bean flowering
  • Egyptian broad beans
    Egyptian broad beans
  • Young beans on plant
    Young beans on plant
  • Young broad bean plant
    Young broad bean plant

It is a rigid, erect plant 0.5-1.7 m tall, with stout stems with a square cross-section. The leaves are 10-25 cm long, pinnate with 2-7 leaflets, and of a distinct glaucous grey-green color. Harvest 90 - 160 days depending on how cold the weather is.

In windy areas it is best to provide some support with posts and string, otherwise the plants will fall across each other. Pick the tops out once beans start setting to prevent blackfly.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Beans - broad beans, fava beans

The fresh beans are eaten steamed or boiled. As the beans mature it is better to remove their tough outer skins after cooking.
The leafy top shoots of the adult plants can be picked and steamed after flowering.
Small beans can be eaten whole in the pods.
Broad beans will freeze well. Remove from pods and blanch.

Your comments and tips

08 Jan 17, Liz (Australia - temperate climate)
I have planted dwarf beans in Perth from March - May with success.
18 Oct 16, Mark (Australia - temperate climate)
Help! Rookie Gardner,some of my broad beans are developing black mould. What is it,and how do I treat it?
24 Oct 16, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It could be black sooty mould. Does it look like this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG4GIkK7P4w If so, a spray with a mild natural dishwater mix is the best treatment. The spray will also kill any aphids which are a common cause for the mould, with the honeydew sugars they leave behind. Even a spray with the hose will kill aphids and wash the plants. Good luck with the Fava beans! I have just harvested some planted from dried beans i bought at the local middle eastern supplies.
15 Oct 16, Roland Close (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I am growing Fava beans for the first time I'm my home garden. My friends in England are assisting me with emails and YouTube videos on the proper way to sow, grow, and harvest them.
29 Jul 16, Gerrie (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I am a rookie gardener in Canberra. My winter garden is going well. Silverbeet, kale and cabbages are thriving. Root vegs (radishes and beets) producing too much foliage but not enough root so I'll switch from fertilising with my worm juice and seasol mix and add some potash to reduce the nitrogen part of the NPK ratio. Had good green manure crops (trying to improve the Canberra compacted clay soil). Planted three broadbean (faba) varieties which are still small (20cm) but growing fast. I remembered to add a bit of lime to the soil. Tried a "three sisters" (corn, beans, pumpkins) planting. Planted the corn too late (should have at least a four-week head start on the climbing beans) and got a zero pumpkin crop so I preparing plenty of bee-attracting flowers for my next attempt this spring. BTW I've invested in a cheap large (3.6x1.9m) greenhouse which is now full of small seedlings so that I can get a head start this spring. We have a short growing season here. The greenhouse will change to a shade-house in summer - last summer almost none of our seeds germinated in the harsh Canberra sun. Will keep trying and hopefully learn from my mistakes.
14 Apr 17, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
If you want pumpkins to set ,just hand pollinate by picking male flower ,cutting back petals and place in female flower for a few seconds and shake gently .This is the only way I have had success in my garden with pumpkins.
17 Jul 16, Elio Sonsini (USA - Zone 5a climate)
I buy lots of fava beans in a store of Southbridge MA I was wondering where they come from I make excellent dishes with fava beans, pasta with fava beans, fava beans with cicoria or just boil them
12 May 16, laurence (Australia - temperate climate)
Re the leaf curl. I planted broad bean from seed, only 12 in a raised bed. All of them came up beautifully but slowly one by one succumbed to lead curl. I read this is actually a disease spread by whitefly.A dose of copper spray should resolve. Will give it a go tomorrow and will post results
05 May 16, De Wet Burger (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I want to start growing red beans ( Adzuki beans ) Do you have any info regarding this?
03 May 16, Janice Allbutt (Australia - temperate climate)
My two early broadbean plants are growing well, look healthy, but the flowers turn black and die, hence no broadbeans to harvest. What could be the problem, please?
Showing 1 - 10 of 247 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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