Fava Beans

Apr 24, 2010

I've gotten a few questions on pruning fava beans lately. I usually do tip-pinch my fava beans. Sometimes, your fava beans will flower and flower away, but you won't see fruit. Often, if you'll tip-pinch the stems, it relieves what is called "apical dominance" and triggers the plant to go ahead and set fruit. There are special cells in the tips of growing stems of plants. Once you remove them, they are triggered to develop different structures, such as lateral shoots, fruits, etc. You don't need to pinch off much, just that very first internodes worth of growth right at the top of the stem. Make sense?

Favabean Fava plants in my garden now

You can harvest the bean pots when they are only 2-3 inches long if you'd like to cook the whole pod as you would a green bean. Or, wait until pods are about 6-8 inches long to harvest the seeds (shell the bean). Go Here for more info on fava beans.

By the way, fava beans are beautiful plants. The leaves are edible in salads and the flowers are lovely and fragrant.

There are 3 comments for this entry

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Alessandra
Apr 24, 2010
10:45 am

THANKS SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR INFO. I THINK MY FAVA BEANS ARE READY TO HARVEST. LOVE THEM.

SerenDippity
Apr 24, 2010
10:46 am

I planted fava beans last fall when you raved about them and mine are about ready to harvest.  The article that you directed us to says that they help break up the soil?  The seedlings that i planted directly in the ground did not do so well at all.  They never grew more than 6 - 8” and never bloomed.  I assumed it was because they didn’t like the clay soil.  The ones planted in my raised beds are huge. 
I’m always looking for things to plant that will help break up the clay soil though.  Any suggestions you might have would be welcome.

Alessandra
Apr 26, 2010
1:00 pm

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