Broad Bean - Fava Bean

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Growing Broad Bean – Fava Bean – Field Bean

Broad Bean

Broad Bean (Vicia faba)

Vicia faba is a legume annual plant that can grow up to 3 feet (1 meter) in height. The flowers are hermaphrodite and the plant is self-fertile.

The broad beans (also known as fava beans) are an excellent source of proteins, vitamins A, C, B, and rich in fibers. We should have in mind that broad beans are toxic to human carriers of a widespread genetic deficiency of the erythrocyte (red blood cell, RBC) enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD). Ingestion of faba beans by these individuals may cause a severe, potentially lethal hemolytic anemia (favism).

Professional cultivation of Broad Bean

We generally cultivate professionally broad beans for two reasons: The first is to harvest the broad been seeds (they ripen from June to September) and the second is to use it as green manure, that is to naturally fertilize our field. In both circumstances, we sow the seeds directly in the field.

First of all, we choose the appropriate variety seed for cultivation. Different varieties can grow in different seasons, while others can be grown in small spaces because they are like shrubs. We also select the range depending on our preferences. Broad beans plants like to be in places with full sun and sheltered from the wind. The soil should be fertile, retaining moisture, but also well drained. We can enrich the soil before sowing with a fertilizer or compost.

We sow the seeds directly into the ground at a depth of 1,5 to 2,5 inches (4-6 cm). We need about 260-330 lbs. (120-150 kg) of seed per hectare. there are 50-60 seeds per oz. (1-2 seeds per grammar of seeds). We leave a distance of 13-15 inches (35-40 cm.) between rows and 6-8 inches (15-20 cm.) between plants. The seeding temperature should be 60-70 °F (15-20 °C). The beans are harvested when they reach a length of 3 inches (7.5 cm).  Broad beans cultivation gives an average yield of green mass of 5,5 to 6 tons per hectare.

Do you have experience in cultivating broad bean? Please share your experience, methods and practices in the comments below.

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