fava beans fall planted

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fava beans fall planted

Post by Heavydesk »

Hi all
I planted fava beans in fall, some in hopes of early spring favas, others just to feed soil food web. I live in Victoria. It is early January and all the favas have suffered from the cold. they are partly blackened and wilted, but also show some green growth. Should I cut everything at soil level and leave spent plants on the ground or see whether the taller food favas will perk up?
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Re: fava beans fall planted

Post by MForest »

Good morning. I’m also in Victoria: ‘rain, rain, go away…’!
I’m no expert on fava beans (my few attempts have been lovely smorgs for the aphids), but if there is some green growth, I might consider letting those ones continue on a bit longer and see what happens. They may come back, given how hardy they are. Maybe chop and drop the rest and see if they shoot up again??? Just my thoughts, definitely not my experience with them. Good luck.
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Re: fava beans fall planted

Post by PeasIntheRain »

I second this question :)

I've planted favas for two seasons, sowing in fall and spring. Neither attempt produced a hearty cover crop or a food crop (although last year's early spring planting -- which did not germinate until nearly 2 months later -- did end up in seed ripening... for maybe 6 pods). All plants were short. They definitely froze/turned black in winter. They did not recover and grow taller or put out new leaves, but I left the plants in place until cutting them down when putting in the next crop.

The marketing and writing about favas from others makes them sound like a sure thing, but they've definitely not been, in my experience. I know that they should perform well here; they're a staple for many gardeners in south island NZ which has a sister climate to the northern PNW. Would love to be able to add them to my harvests as they're great both young and green and as a dried bean -- bring on the ful medames!
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Re: fava beans fall planted

Post by Danoost »

I love fava's as a cover crop for a couple reasons: they can be planted quite late in the fall and make a good cover and, they're a really easy winter kill. I wouldn't expect to harvest from them the following year in your area although I've heard that it has been done in protected areas.

Like all legumes, fava are dependent on rhizobia, a species of bacteria that inhabits the root zone of the plant and fixes nitrogen. There is a good chance that this specialized bacteria is missing in your soil. You can buy an inoculant but you're best off finding a friend who grows beans successfully and introducing their bacteria to your soil and compost. If you know where their beans grew last year you could just grab a few shovels worth and place in your compost and garden where you plan to grow beans.

Beans typically don't grow too well in newly introduced compost.

Aphids: we occasionally get black aphids on our plants but it doesn't impact the production. Plants don't seem to struggle in the least. Aphids do, however, signal an imbalance. I've noticed a bigger problem in saturated soils.
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