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Growing Broad Beans (Fava)

How to grow (Fava) Broad Beans in garden beds and allotments

 

Broad Beans

Family/Latin Name

Fabaceae- Vicia faba

Type of Plant

Legume - Crop Rotation Group = Others

Suitable for

 

Garden Beds, Allotments, Greenhouses


Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants

 

Plant Dimensions

Height  up to 120cm/4ft  -  Spread  Up to 30cm/12"

Dwarf varieties also available which grow up to 45cm/18"

Yield per plant

Approx 300g/11oz

Yield per 1.5m/5 ft double row

5kg/10lb

Time between sowing and harvesting

About 14 weeks (Spring sown)

About 32 weeks (Autumn Sown)

Sowing time

March to May  - temperature   +9C/48F. 

Can also be sown in October/November for June Crop in mild areas however severe winters may dramatically decrease the crop size

Where to Sow

Outdoors in open ground

Dwarf Varieties in large tubs or troughs

How to Sow

5cm/2" deep - 20cm/8" between seeds - in double rows 60cm/24" apart

After Germination

Keep weed free

Growing on -  in Pots

Water regularly. May need supporting with sticks

Growing on- in ground

Water in dry weather

Aftercare

Tall growing varieties will need support. Place stakes at the end of the rows and  string between the posts at 30cm/12" intervals up the stakes.

 

Pinch off the top 7.5cm/3" of each plant once the first beans start to form. 

Harvesting

Cut young pods at 7.5cm-10cm/2-3" for cooking whole. Harvest pods for shelling when the beans start to show through the pods. Crops over a period of about 10 weeks.

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Chocolate Spot
Indications Small brown spots which may spread to form large patches. The crop will be reduced and the plants may die if the infection is severe. The beans are still edible, but the pods may be discoloured.
Treatment Organic
Pull up and destroy infected plant material at the end of the season
Chemical
Try using sprays recommended for Helminthosporium
Prevention 1. Avoid damp or humid sites
2. Avoid overcrowded plants by sowing seeds further apart
 
Black Bean Aphids
Indications Leaves distorted, yellowing and stunted distorted growth on bean pods and withering plant stems with patches of black in the leaf nodes
Treatment Organic
Spray with a weak solution of soapy water
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Chemical
Spray with an insecticide containing Bifenthrin, Imidacloprid or Pyrethrum
Prevention Try pinching out the tops of plants once four trusses of pods have formed
   
Bean Weevils
Indications Leaves have U shaped notches around the edges
Treatment Organic
Place a sticky card or bucket of water under the plant and shaking to remove the weevils from the plant. Then destroy the bugs underfoot or pick them off by hand
Chemical
Spray with an insecticide containing Fenitrothion
Prevention Plant a barrier of garlic along side the rows.

 Companion Flower Graphic

Grow Potato, Cucumber, Maize, Strawberry, Celery and  Summer Savory  close by.

 

Garlic planted alongside can prevent damage by bean weevils.

Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".  To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  In a cool, dry place  for up to 3 days  Excess amounts can be frozen. Prepare as below then blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain well and allow to cool before freezing 

Preparing:  Whilst the whole pods of very young specimens can be  eaten much like mange touts, usually the outer pods of fresh broad beans are too tough to eat, so the beans need to be removed from the shell  and cooked on their own.  Wash in cold water. 

CookingAll but the youngest early-season broad beans are best blanched in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain immediately then make a nick in the top of each bean and slip out of the pale outer skin revealing the deep green bean.

Cook for  a further 3-4 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook the beans  in boiling water for  5-8 minutes if you don't mind eating the  skin.

Best boiled or steamed

For more preparation and cooking information about broad beans plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

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