Fixes up to 150 lb Nitrogen per acre, edible leaves, flowers and beans
This tall (to 8' on good soil) legume is deep-rooted and fixes Nitrogen up to 150 lb/acre. It produces long pods filled with large, edible beans which are popular fresh, dried or pickled. Beautiful black and white flowers attract many beneficial insects. The large seeds must be planted deep (up to 3") and early to grow a good stand prior to cold weather. Plant in rows 12" apart or broadcast at 2-5 lb/1,000 sq ft or 125-175 lb/acre. Easy to turn under if mowed or scythed first.
Raw seed requires a Pea-Vetch inoculant or an inoculant combination that will work for Fava Beans.Vicia faba
Cool Season Annual Cover Crops are planted in fall to protect the soil over the winter and produce an abundance of organic matter in spring. Fava Beans, also known as Bell Beans, are a superb nitrogen fixer and add lots of organic matter to the soil. The beans are also edible, but the plants are usually tilled into the soil before they are harvestable.
- Ease of Growing
- Grown as
- Days to Maturity
- 60-180 (Fall/Winter)
- Growing Habit
Fava Beans are very hardy and frost tolerant and can grow right through the winter in mild climates.
- Growing Season
- Short, Long
- Cultivar Type
- Growing Conditions
- Cold, Cool, Warm
Legumes like well-drained soil rich in organic matter and a moderate amount of nutrients. This tall legume is deep-rooted. Where winter lows stay above 10˚ F you can sow as early as September. Avoid hot weather.
- Outdoor Growing Temp
- 40°F - 75°F
- Min Outdoor Soil Temp
Most cool weather cover crop should be started when temperatures are still in the 60's to allow the plants to establish before winter, which also prevents Winterkill.
- Start Indoors
- Start Outdoors
- Sun: min. 6 hours daily (Cold, Cool)
Cover crops need full sun when growing in winter, as days are shorter and the sun is lower in the sky. If grown in summer many will tolerate light shade (though they grow best in full sun).
Most of these crops are not particularly drought tolerant and will need regular watering in dry climates (especially when germinating and getting established). However they are mostly grown during the winter when the soil is fairly moist, so don't usually require much irrigation.
You do not need to fertilize cover crop in established gardens, as there will be plenty of nutrients in the garden to meet their needs. Since you will be incorporating them back in to the soil, growing them doesn't remove any nutrients from the soil.
The leguminous cover crops also fix nitrogen and eventually add it to the soil.
- Tolerates light frost
- Small Gardens?
- Attracts beneficial insects?
- Fruit Size
- Plant Height
- Plant Diameter
- Hardiness Zone
- Disease Resistance
- Taste Profile
Tender and delicious when beans are young. Brown matured beans are great for hummus and soups. Leaves are light in flavor and texture and are great for salads. Flowers are slightly sweet, and also add a nice touch to salads.