Fava Beans cover crop seeds produce hardy annual, upright plants. This small-seeded broad bean is a popular nitrogen fixer. The large brittle plants work in easily with front end tillers, or can be cut and composted. Continue reading below for tips on how to grow fava beans from seed.

Latin
Vicia faba
Family: Fabaceae

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

Timing
Fava beans can be started as early as the end of January, or as late as early November where winters are mild. Plants grow slowly, and are hardy down to Zone 7: -17°C (0°F).

Starting
Aim for a minimum of four plants per square foot. Sow seeds 5mm (¼") deep.

Growing
For nitrogen fixation, allow the plants to grow until flowering begins. Cut plants at the surface and leave on the soil as a mulch, or use for compost. The large brittle plants can also be worked into the soil easily with a garden fork. Allow two weeks before planting the next crop.