Beans, Fava

  Beans, Windsor Fava   

Heirloom. Organic. English variety dating to 1863 with a deliciously nutty flavor when eaten as a shell bean. Plants average 4’ tall and produce 5-6” pods that hold 3-5 large plump beans. Great for freezing or drying for winter storage. Dry beans are a brown to buff color. Plants require cool conditions and are not heat tolerant. Fava beans (Vicia faba) are native to the Mediterranean region and have a history that dates back to prehistoric times. These beans, also known as broad beans or European beans, are hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture planting zones 3 through 11. These cool-season crops don't tolerate hot summer weather -- they're ideally started in spring or fall, as soon as the soil is workable and above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Because fava beans don't transplant well, sow the seeds directly in the garden. Because fava bean plants can grow up to 5 feet tall, install a trellis prior to sowing the seeds. This supports the plants and helps them grow upright. As an alternative, anchor at least six poles in the soil and tie their tops together to form a teepee-like support system.

Harvest the pods after 80 to 90 days, when they droop and appear plump, green and glossy. To promote regrowth, prune the plant to 2 inches after the harvest. Popular in European gardens, Broad Windsor is one of the tastiest of all dried beans and one of the largest-the size of a quarter! When eaten at the shelling stage, you'll discover why their mild flavor makes them perfect partners with many spices and herbs. Great for Falafels. The sturdy bushes stand 4 feet tall, produce 4-5 inch pods, and are reliably hardy to 12°F.

Planting Windsor Fava Beans

While starting seeds of the Windsor Fava Beans is not necessarily difficult, the right conditions will make the process successful. Sow Windsor Fava Beans seeds directly in the ground in the spring when the threat of frost has passed. Keep the ground moist but not wet for the first couple of weeks. Pick a sunny, well-drained spot for planting for the best performance. Prefers a well-drained fertile soil in a sunny position.  Windsor Fava Beans plants need regular watering.

Height: 36-48” tall and 1 foot wide Days to harvest—80 Days

Spacing: 18-24" inches Depth: 2  inch Germination: 5-10 days

Starting from Seed Indoors

 Do not start fava beans indoors.  Fava beans do not transplant well.

Direct-seeding into the Garden

Turn over the area you've selected to a depth of approximately 4 inches. Rake the area until it's level and smooth. Water the area until the soil is damp but not saturated. Scatter the seeds in the area. Gently rake the area to distribute the seeds further and protect them from birds. Or, press the seeds into the soil and cover with no more than 2 inches of soil. You can also place 2 to 3 seeds every 3 to 4 inches in rows approximately 12-18 inches apart, and cover seeds with 2 inches of soil. Place planting stakes around the area so you will know where to water. Check on your seeds about once a day. Make sure to mist the soil whenever it appears dry. Germination for Windsor Fava Beans plants is approximately 5 to 10 days, depending on the warmth of the soil.   

Germination Problems

Growing plants from seeds successfully depends on a lot of factors and this makes it impossible to guarantee success on every batch of seeds planted.  Factors include, soil composition, PH, temperature, moisture levels, seed depth, soil density, seed viability, seed storage and many others.  We tested the germination of all our seeds and this seed variety is around 80%, but your results may vary based on exactly how you plant and all the environmental factors.  Good luck.