Fava beans - flowers, no beans

queenofthemountain - SoCal 9bMarch 16, 2010

My fava beans were planted in late November. They grew well and have been flowering for at least 6 weeks. They appear totally healthy, except for a few aphids that I hit with insecticidal soap. However I have not seen a single bean forming. Any ideas?

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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi

I am also in zone 9b and planted four different varieties of fava beans.

Two were planted earlier, Imperial Green Longpod is only flowering for some time and Egyptian is given pods.

Egyptian

The other two were planted later and are flowering Aquadulce and Crimson flowered

Crimson

I don't know the answer and hope someone does.

Silvia

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 6:55PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I planted Windsor favas also in zone 9b in mid October. They are just starting to form little pods now, so be patient and give them another 3-4 weeks. Favas do take a long time don't they?

    Bookmark   March 16, 2010 at 9:56PM
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happyday(WI4a)

My favas set pods in cool spring, then nothing but blooms all summer, then small single or two bean pods in fall. Maybe the pollen fails in the heat.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 12:24AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

They do take a while to start setting pods. And I'm also wondering about the insecticidal soap. Bees and other pollinators are insects too. Any chance you've deterred them with your anti aphid spray?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 4:37AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

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Here are some Windsor favas, inter-cropped with artichokes (and fruit trees - not seen in pict). The yellow flower is a self sown calendula. This was a few weeks ago, they are taller now and the lower pods are forming (still tiny). Will try to get a picture of those on the weekend.

Silvia what can you tell us about the Egyptian fava (beautiful!) and the other varieties? Flavor? warmth resistance? DTM? I would like to try other favas besides the Windsor next year. Where did you buy them?

Flora has a very good point. I have lady bugs all over these, have not seen aphids but there must be aphids (or other bugs) since the lady bugs are not vegetarian. I do not spray anything, but if the balance gets bad (much more aphids than lady bugs) they we spray with a strong jet of plain water and wait (give the lady bugs a change to come back). Sometimes this is enough, if not, then we get the heavy artillery. For me heavy artillery is a soapy-garlicky-cayenne-solution.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 1:11PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Cabrita-- This is my first time growing fava beans in Florida, before I only planted them when I live in colder parts of the country.

I planted the Egyptian from Pinetree and the Imperial from Thompson & Morgan the first week of november. The pods of the Egyptian are very tasty, I will plant them again. The Imperial is taller and has bigger flowers and have not taste it yet. We did have a few days of freeze this winter, it has been cold for a long time.

I have no problem with pollinators, I have tons of bees, here is one working in the borage

Aquadulce from Sand Hill and Crimson Flowered from Heritage Harvest Seed were planted recently, after the freeze. I will report on the flavor.

In the future I will plant different varieties, I also have the Windsor variety from Nichols. My favorite kind has a very large beans. Still looking...

Silvia

    Bookmark   March 18, 2010 at 2:07PM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

"And I'm also wondering about the insecticidal soap. Bees and other pollinators are insects too. Any chance you've deterred them with your anti aphid spray?"

I use Safer brand organic insecticidal soap, which from what I have read is not harmful to bees at least after it has dried. I spray the aphids in the evening, and the spray dries very quickly. Also, I try to keep the spray on the stalk where the aphids are - they don't seem to get into the fava flowers. I have not had to spray for aphids in over a month.

There was not much bee activity while it was cold (well, Southern CA's version of cold) but it has been picking up since the weather has warmed. Maybe that will help.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 2:39PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

OK - sounds as if the soap isn't the problem. Maybe it's the low bee activity you mentioned.

I use the same method as Sylvia for aphids. Blast them with the hose and await the ladybirds. It generally works. I grow favas (broad beans over here) every year starting with an October/November sowing and then following up with successional sowings in February (not this year - too cold), March, April and sometimes May. Aquadulce for the overwintering crop and various others, including Masterpiece Green Longpod and Dreadnought, for the rest.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 3:04PM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

Well I guess I had to be just a little more patient - yesterday we found little baby fava bean pods.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 3:15AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

Silvia, my borage bloomed (self seeded) the day after you posted this picture, so you are just a few days ahead. They sure attract bees don't they? My oranges are also blooming, the scent is almost intoxicating, and of course, bee heaven!

I am going to be checking on how the different varieties do for you, the egyptian is on the list. We had just one or two days when the temperature dipped below 0C, just enough to kill my ginger, but favas like it cold. I guess we need fava varieties adapted to milder winters, if there is such a thing.

Queenofthemountain, good news on the pods! What variety are you growing?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:15AM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

"Queenofthemountain, good news on the pods! What variety are you growing?"

Broad Windsor, seeds were purchased from Seeds Of Change.

I have enjoyed the flowers themselves, even if they had never made pods I might have grown them again just to have something flowering in the winter.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 6:33PM
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reefisher(z10SoCal)

I planted some Bell beans (small white flowered fava) in Feb mostly for green manure. I've grown Windsors many many times. Only reason I got Bell was it was the only cover crop fava offered by SOC and I had a gift certificate. So having never grown this variety before, I was suprized at how long the flowering was without any pod set. Tons of bees. Today I found out that some favas will just keep putting energy into flowering like squash and melons. One has to cut the tops to get earlier pod set. So I just got through cutting a bunch of the tops and am going to throw them into some other greens for a stir fry. Maybe you need to stop the flowering and direct the energy into making seed.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 6:38PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

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Bowl of Windsor favas picked at the immature shelly stage. I did not peel those and with the exception of a couple of larger pods, they were fine.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2010 at 12:59PM
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queenofthemountain - SoCal 9b

Now I have to laugh at myself for being worried I wasn't going to get any beans.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 1:00AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Beautiful harvests! Cabrita, and Queenofthemountain. I have been eating my fava beans too and I did not take a picture, silly me, next time.

I am glad it all turn out good for us.

Silvia

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 12:48PM
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eibren(z6PA)

Someone in another thread had mentioned people taking certain medications should not consume favas. Also, I know from another internet site I occasionally go to that some people have a genetically acquired inability to deal with favas, resulting in a rare but at times life-threatening anemia. Even the pollen can harm such people...but favas are also claimed to be helpful to people with Parkinson's disease!

Here is a link that might be useful: Most informative link I could find

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 5:10AM
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cindy-eatonton

Thanks for this thread - I was just going to post a question about fava beans that have had flowers for forever, yet no beans. :)

    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 10:17AM
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cindy-eatonton

Well here we are another month later and I have 4 foot tall Favas with lots of flowers (very pretty!) and not a pod to be seen. I think I am going to try topping them some. I do see bees in them, we have quite a collection of honey bees in the favas, the rosemary, and sweet alyssum.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2012 at 1:56PM
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cindy-eatonton

At last! Baby beans on the favas! They are very hard to see, but they are there!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:14PM
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nanelle_gw(9/Sunset 14)

There IS hope!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:42AM
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nanelle_gw(9/Sunset 14)

Eating my first favas!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 1:28AM
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cindy_ga

Congrats! We're still eating them. They are nearly done here - the beans REALLY don't like hot weather. I will grow these again - it was nice to have beans when not much other than broccoli, cabbage or greens were available.

Cindy

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 10:53AM
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