Growing Broad Beans, also Fava bean

Vicia faba : Fabaceae / the pea or legume family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
              P P      

(Best months for growing Broad Beans in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 6°C and 24°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 15 - 25 cm apart
  • Harvest in 12-22 weeks. Pick frequently to encourage more pods.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dill, Potatoes
  • Broad bean flowering
  • Egyptian broad beans
  • Young beans on plant
  • Young broad bean plant

It is a rigid, erect plant 0.5-1.7 m tall, with stout stems with a square cross-section. The leaves are 10-25 cm long, pinnate with 2-7 leaflets, and of a distinct glaucous grey-green color. Harvest 90 - 160 days depending on how cold the weather is.

In windy areas it is best to provide some support with posts and string, otherwise the plants will fall across each other. Pick the tops out once beans start setting to prevent blackfly.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Broad Beans

The fresh beans are eaten steamed or boiled. As the beans mature it is better to remove their tough outer skins after cooking.
The leafy top shoots of the adult plants can be picked and steamed after flowering.
Small beans can be eaten whole in the pods.
Broad beans will freeze well. Remove from pods and blanch.

Your comments and tips

23 Sep 22, Evelina Lynch (USA - Zone 7b climate)
When can I start beans zone 7b
26 Sep 22, Anonymous (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Go to Broad beans, set your climate zone to USA 7B and it it all there when to plant in the calander guide.
29 Aug 22, Kimberly Johnson (USA - Zone 9a climate)
I want to grow beans for planting in October. What is the best beans to grow?
04 Sep 22, (USA - Zone 9a climate)
Any probably will do. It is about planting at the right time - try a few and then you may prefer one to the others.
29 Apr 22, Lynn Laurent (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Since moving to Tauranga I have found it better to plant broadbeans mid winter …. June as any earlier the flowers are not pollenated. Wait until mid winter so the bees will be active when the plants begin to flower. That way you don’t lose the first line of beans. Uncle in Hastings always did the same. Then they crop November into December.
02 Apr 22, Peter (Australia - temperate climate)
You need some warmth greenhouse effect, try plant seeding in some moonlight or artificial light small amounts of spagnum moss on bottom Ive used not too damp as mold can effect seedling you may not see it good luck.with planting..
06 Oct 21, Pete (Australia - temperate climate)
I took a look at my Broad Beans today. They have an infestation of very small insects. could they be Aphids? Thanks in advance> Cheers Pete
08 Oct 21, Deidre (Australia - temperate climate)
Highly likely Pete. Ideally, sit on your hands as the ladybugs and parasitic wasps will take care of the aphid population.
06 Sep 21, Nigel (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
My beans have been flowering for 2 months. Lots of continuous flowers but so far no beans. Ideas please.
27 Sep 21, Steve (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My understanding is that you have to wait for the bees to arrive to pollonate the plant. I had the same issue last year as well. Just need to wait a bit longer
Showing 1 - 10 of 327 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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