Growing Fava beans in Northeast Arkansas - UPDATE!!
I HAVE AN UPDATE ON FAVA BEANS .. variety Aquadulce. Let me start by picking up the thread again (with pest recipes omitted!) with a pasting of this message:
* Posted by macmex 6b (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 13, 08 at 17:28
I have grown Favas in zone 6 (New Jersey)and a lot more in Mexico, at high altitude, where we lived for some years. Generally I try to plant them about the time I would plant peas. I have heard that one can plant them in the fall, for a spring crop. But I believe that is assuming that you don't have erratic spikes in temperature before early spring. If the favas get very tall, and you have a real cold snap, like below 31 F., they can be killed.
If you plant the seed outside, and they sprout because the soil temps have warmed enough, then they are more likely to handle cold snaps. My guess is that your outdoor planted seed will show up when the temps are right. That's my take on things.
George, you were right! The seeds went into the ground on January 9, with innoculant. They have laid under 17 degree frosts, 2 ice storms, snow for a few days, and this morning they are coming up... 75% of them so far!! Inside the house germination was 95% on this lot of seeds, but it was progressive over nearly 2 weeks. They are untreated 2007 seeds from Baker Creek Seeds in Missouri.
As for the transplanted ones (grown inside until Feb 3, then set out just like tomatoes)... All their original tops did kill down in the harder freezes. However, the plants were strong enough that about 60% of them have new shoots at the base and appear healthy enough to grow on out. Daffodils (the earliest varieties like Narcissus pseudonarcissus) are about a week from first bloom on sunny slopes of road frontage. Spinach is up well; lettuce just coming up, which means soil temp is at least 40 degrees, I think.
It feels far too cold for English peas to my touch, so I think this proves that Favas act like their wild vetch ancestors, from which they were domesticated over 6000 years ago. This is also a good chance for a crop, as they will have about 90 days to mature before we hit the heat of June.
I am planting seeds tomorrow of a few more Aquadulce in same area, and in an isolated different area I am planting the Italian imported seeds of Grano White from Gourmet Seeds International. They are also a large seeded type, described as frost hardy to 15 degrees, and listed by vendor as the earliest to mature (Vendor also carries Aquadulce) They are -- by Italian export regulations? -- Thiram treated seeds (innoculant may not take?) Grano White will be going into an area where they are tied to trellis on a south wall, and where I will want them out by June 1 to plant yardlongs from Seeds of India.
All of these soil areas are heavy clay / rock mix with some organic improvement.
greentongue in still chilly NE Arkansas