Growing and Saving the Seeds Of Fava Beans
Latin name Vicia faba is an annual member of the legume, or bean, family. Fava beans differ from many other beans in that they love cool weather and should be planted very early in the season in order to avoid summer's heat.
One of the most ancient edible plants, adopted into the Mediterranean diet some 6,000 years ago. Favas are also widely known as broad beans.
- Favas are a delicious and nutritious staple in many cuisines, from the Mediterranean to North Africa and South America
- Direct sow fava beans as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring or fall sow them in USDA zones 6 and warmer.
- Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
- Sow seeds 1-2 inches deep.
- Plant seeds 6 inches apart in rows 2-3 feet apart.
- Ideal germination temperature is 45-65 F.
- It is essential to keep in mind that favas like cool weather and struggle in heat. Temperatures over 75 F will begin to stress the plants, so select a growing window that provides a longer cool period.
- Provide full sun.
- Prefers well-drained soil.
- Keep plants regularly watered.
- Harvest beans when green and plump for fresh use or allow to dry completely for later use.
- Aphids can be an issue with favas; however, they are easily controlled by spraying them with a water hose.
- You can also treat with diluted soapy water.
- Beneficial insects like ladybeetles and parasitic wasps will also help to keep aphids under control.
- A self-pollinating annual legume that sometimes is insect pollinated.
- If you are growing more than one variety be sure to isolate different varieties by 500 feet to prevent accidental insect-caused cross pollination.
- Save seeds from at least 10 different plants to ensure genetic strength.
- Allow seed pods to brown and dry on plant.
- If rain is expected, you can harvest nearly dried pods and finish the process in a dry, bright location out of the rain.
- Release beans from pods and make sure they are fully dry and cannot be dented with a fingernail.
- Store seeds in a cool, dark, dry place.