Growing Broad Beans, also Fava bean

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20 Jul 13 Lee Patterson (Australia - temperate climate)
I have planted broad beans and they are now about 2ft high. Have seen purple/white flowers on them, but could you tell me when they will fruit? Thanking you.
01 Dec 21 Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Broad Beans/Fava Beans are very easy to grow - once you have all the facts. Here are some general guidelines, as the numbers vary depending on variety- in addition to wind verses shelter location etc. The kill temperature is -4c to -10c depending on the variety - the temperature needs to be sustained; that is, two seconds of -10c is not going to do anything... its all about when the freeze explodes the cells of the plant. I 've had mine in -6c on more than one occasion but the temp only stayed that low for about an hour- the high winds did the most damage. Those plants protected from the wind sustained little to no damage, those plants that where exposed lost about a third of their branches. Optimum growth temperature is somewhere between 18c and 26c The plants will grow from about 2c but go dormant below 2c, and also go dormant if it gets too hot. Too hot will generally reduce productivity and may comprise the ability of the plant to produce beans. So here is your temp line (I hope this turn out - it is meant to have temps above what happens at that temp) -10c -4c 0 2c 10c 15c 18c 20c 25c 30c ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ dead dormant growing OK growing well difficult to produce beans due to heat dead So what needs to happen to grow this plant 1. you need 80 or more days in the GROWING temperature zone to get to beans (though you may get a few here and there earlier). These days do not need to be continuous (in a row), Beans can go dormant, then grow, then go dormant etc. 2. you need SUN while growing 3. after 80 days in the growing temp range you should start getting beans: BUT favas need a lot of water during the flowering stage to produce beans... no water while flowering, no beans; low water, low bean production; lots of water while flowering healthy bean production You need to hit all 3 of these criteria to get beans... but don't stress, these beans are forgiving and will fight to hold on until conditions are good. Again, 80 days or more in temps above say 5c and below 28c, sun, lots of water while flowering. Now lets say you plant your fava beans with an intent to overwinter..... it could take 200 days of elapsed time to get your 80 days of growing temperature days. That's why you will see a days to harvest that ranges from about 80 days to about 240days. Spring sown favas will generally make it in 80 days, but if you overwinter there is no telling how long it will take to get beans BECAUSE you don't really know how many days are suitable growing days; if your winter is unseasonable warm you might get beans in 80 days, if your winter is unseasonable cold, you might not get beans until well into SPRING/SUMMER almost the equivalent of spring planting. Also note: that though favas fix their own nitrogen they still need the other two macro nutrients (phosphorus, and potassium) to grow as well as a variety of micro nutrients -- I give mine a dose of micronutrients at planting and manure while growing. Since favas are so hardy; I tend to grow mine in new beds; since usually nothing else will grow well in a new bed; I also use them in my WORST locations AND I grow mine over winter here, planting very late in summer, more like fall; as I want to bring in the last of the potatoes or tomatoes or whatever..... so they get the worst of everything (I'm shocked that they are growing in a bed that has not even fully composted and which I can barely dig in ), and still they do just fine. I like them for their edible green leaves during winter (flash fry them for use in a salad with croutons and other stuff - or wilt some in your soup.... like a side salad on top of your soup). These greens will keep you from getting stale stomach over winter if you are prone. The leaves taste like fava beans... so that is a bit strange, and the texture is tougher than most leafy greens; what can I say other than you'll get use to it. I believe in growing what grows well in my area, and adjusting my taste accordingly... or finding a recipe to hide the taste of things I'm not fond of but grow well. As far as pollination; I have got beans, not many, but some beans, in the middle of winter; no bees around then. I didn't hand pollinate or anything.... I am assuming wind did the job, but it could have been ants. I have noticed that when I STRETCH the growing season (overwinter), I get more stalks and greens with less beans; if I plant in ideal conditions and timeframes I get less greens and more beans. Real Estate in my garden is limited; so since these plants can handle the terrible conditions I grow them in winter.... leaving the ideal temps for my cherry tomatoes, potatoes and yams. Without a doubt BEANS are the big producers in my garden; whether they be runner beans, or fava beans; or which I have a half dozen varieties of each.
04 Nov 13 Michael (Australia - temperate climate)
I've planted my purchased broad beans seeds just before September, almost at the start of our Spring season here in Berwick, Victoria. Australia. I prepared the soil three weeks earlier, just tilled it to kill the grass and then formed several lines of raised beds - as always - for drainage. I planted the seeds not on top of the raised mounts but slightly offside and in a zig-zag pattern between seeds. Now they are around 70cm high and in flower. Broad beans can tolerate a variety of soil condition and full sun. They also love having companions plants. I planted potatoes, radishes, silver beets and beetroots spaced between them and accordingly the tallest goes at the back and the shortest at the front, so that each gets sunlight even in late afternoon. (Edited)

I have planted broad beans and they are now about 2ft high. Have seen purple/white flowers on them, but could you tell me when they will fruit? Thanking you.

- Lee Patterson

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