Growing Broad Beans, also Fava bean

Vicia faba : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

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

(Best months for growing Broad 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

Your comments and tips

02 Jul 23, Simone (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I planted seeds a couple of weeks ago but no sign of germination. We are getting frosts most mornings in the upper Blue Mountains NSW. Am I too late? I heard they grow better from seed or should I try to germinate inside first?
03 Jul 23, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
Let's start with the germination temperature: 7c to 18c is the ideal germination temperature for FB, further the temperature needs to be sustained (over 5 or more days). So it needs to be warmish for the seeds to germinate. They will however happily reside in the soil until those temperatures are met (within reason- excess moisture causing rot etc.). The growing temperature for fava beans is between 4c and 24c. The kill temperature is -4c to -10c depending on the variety. What happens between the kill temperature and the grow temperature is a "waiting/holding" time (the plant is alive, but is sort of in limbo until the temperature is good enough again to grow). Above 24c the plant is starting to experience heat related symptoms and again is just holding on (unless the temps get to hot and kill the plant). You need to think about temperatures - what temps do you expect over the next month ? Based on the temperatures, do you think you seeds will germinate ? Then think about the grow temperatures -- if the seeds sprout will they be able to grow ? Generally if you want to grow fava beans in winter you plant them in late summer - so they germinate and grow enough BEFORE the cold weather -- during the cold weather (provided your are does not get too cold) the beans will be able to stay alive and grow a slight bit -- so you can harvest greens during winter and some beans -- then spring comes and the fava plants put forth LOTS of beans and then die. That is to say, the fava bean plant does not grow very much in cold weather and I find that typical of most plants that I want to over winter. They need to have a head start in decent weather and then they kind of SLOWLY inch their way to the finish line. Over wintering is a means of keeping the produce fresh - think of it this way - if you had produce in the fridge it is no longer growing, in fact it is in the process of dying, losing valuable nutrients daily. If you have a plant in the winter ground (that can handle overwintering), it is alive, GROWING REALLY REALLY slow, but it is alive and NOT losing nutrients. I guess what I'm trying to say is, super performance is generally not required, or expected, we are just looking to hold nutrients when we over winter. Clearly some plants are better for overwinter than others - in my area FAVA BEANS are a good choice.
28 Feb 23, Cam Eckersley-Brinich (USA - Zone 9b climate)
I'm requesting favorite recipes using broad (fava) beans, as they are rarely offered in the produce section, and I'm not a fan of canned veggies of any kind...Thank you!
03 Mar 23, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 5a Temperate Warm Summer climate)
The nice thing about fava beans is you don't have to cook them -- and you don't have to shell them (if they are still young -- they are young enough to eat whole UP TO THE point where they have plumped up fully and the pod is NOT YET fibrous -- once the pods are fibrous the pods need to be discarded (keep the beans) because the fibrous pods are too difficult to digest and will cause lots of discomfort). OK -- so I use my young pods raw (entire pod -- and some leaves and stalk) to make a pesto. I use this pesto as a dip. I also chop up the full pod and use them in stews (Garnish with some leaves). I use the leaves and some stalk (chopped up) when I make scrabbled eggs -- adding the fava once the scrambled eggs are about 15 seconds from done -- in other words just incorporating them into the scrambled eggs and then removing from the pan. If your unsure about what I mean when I say fibrous -- if you where to put the full pod in a blender/chopper -- after you chop, look at the mixture -- if the pods where too fibrous you will see "MESH" yes "MESH" -- looks like pieces of wire mesh -- pick these out and discard these. I NEVER DOUBLE SHELL -- the beans are always good -- but may need to be softened up like any dried bean needs to be.
23 Sep 22, Evelina Lynch (USA - Zone 7b climate)
When can I start beans zone 7b
26 Sep 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Go to Broad beans, set your climate zone to USA 7B and it it all there when to plant in the calander guide.
29 Aug 22, Kimberly Johnson (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I want to grow beans for planting in October. What is the best beans to grow?
04 Sep 22, (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Any probably will do. It is about planting at the right time - try a few and then you may prefer one to the others.
29 Apr 22, Lynn Laurent (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Since moving to Tauranga I have found it better to plant broadbeans mid winter …. June as any earlier the flowers are not pollenated. Wait until mid winter so the bees will be active when the plants begin to flower. That way you don’t lose the first line of beans. Uncle in Hastings always did the same. Then they crop November into December.
02 Apr 22, Peter (Australia - temperate climate)
You need some warmth greenhouse effect, try plant seeding in some moonlight or artificial light small amounts of spagnum moss on bottom Ive used not too damp as mold can effect seedling you may not see it good luck.with planting..
Showing 11 - 20 of 342 comments

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