Windsor Fava Bean Vicia faba
This is a the classic large seeded English Fava with the strong upright plants that usually bear 3-5 very large, tender, light green for fresh shelling. Thisis a cool season legume cover crop . Also called Horse or Broad Bean, the fava technically is not a bean at all. It is a member of the pea-vetch family. It will produce long pods filled with large edible beans which are popular fresh dried or even pickled. This is a legume crop tall and is deep rooted and fixes Nitrogen up to 150 pounds per acre. Plus it has stunning black and white flowers that attract beneficial insects as well. This is excellent choice to use as a cover crop.
PLANTING: The most important point about growing Fava Beans is to plant them as early as the ground can be worked. They will not germinate properly unless the ground is cool. A soil temp. of 45-55°F/7-13°C is recommended for best results. Sow seed in rows 3-4 ft/107-122 cm apart. Space seeds 5 in/13 cm apart in a staggered pattern, about 1.5-2 in/4-5 cm deep.
FERTILIZING: When fertilizing make sure that the fertilizer granules do not tough the seed as they can be easily damaged by high rates of potassium. Apply fertilizer in bands or cultivator marks 2 in/5 cm below the seed and at least 3 in/8 cm to the side of the seeded row. Make about two applications (a) after young plants are established and (b) just as pods are setting. Do not fertilize or cultivate right after a heavy rain or early in the morning, it spreads diseases. Black aphids are attracted to the succulent young growth at the top of the plant. Organic gardeners can prevent aphids by pinching off the centers of the plants when they are about 24 in/60 cm high. The remainder of the mature foliage is rather bitter tasting and most of the aphids will not bother with it. Larger commercial plantings should be well sprayed with Malathion (make sure you cover the under sides of the leaves) when plants are about 24 in/60 cm high. Repeat spray program as aphids appear.
HARVEST: Crops are harvested when pods are well filled and the beans are about 10% larger than original seed used for sowing. They are then shelled, eaten or quick frozen like Lima Beans. Blanch for 2-3 min. Cool quickly, drain and pack.
Plant at 125 lbs/ acre