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Vicia faba

Botanical Name: Vicia faba

Common Name(s): Beans (broad)

Categories:

Description:

This cool-season vegetable is a tall, leafy crop that needs plenty of space, although it is easy to grow. It is also a useful legume for soil improvement.

Family: Papilionaceae

Synonym:  Faba vulgaris

Botanical Pronunciation: VISS-ee-uh FAY-buh

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Deciduous
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Frost Sensitive
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Non Indigenous
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Full Sun
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Moderate Watering
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Pruning Required

Common Pests and Diseases

Aphids. Leaf spot, rust, mosaic virus are common in this plant.

Flowers

Foliage

Description: This cool-season vegetable is a tall, leafy crop that needs plenty of space, although it is easy to grow.

Fruit

Broad beans  Broad beans

Harvest

Pick pods when young and use like green beans, or leave pods to fill with half-ripe seeds before picking. Pods with half-ripe seeds are shelled and the seeds cooked. A 5m-long row per sowing should yield enough for a family of four.

Interesting Info

Seedlings emerge 10–14 days after sowing. Once they start growing, water regularly, especially during flowering and fruit-setting (after flowering).

Maintenance

Once they start growing, water regularly, especially during flowering and fruit-setting (after flowering). Plants may need support in windy positions. Pinch out the growing point to eliminate aphids once enough pods have set. Avoid fertilizers that are high in nitrogen as this will encourage too much leaf growth at the expense of the flowers and pods.

Origin

Mediterranean region.

Planting Instructions

During autumn, sow seed directly in double rows 300mm apart. Place seeds 50mm deep and 150–200mm apart in the row. Keep damp but not soggy. Seedlings emerge 10–14 days after sowing.

Possible Problems

Mosaic virus appears as mottled patterns on foliage, causing plants to become stunted. As there are no chemicals to control viral diseases; the only way to prevent them from spreading is to destroy plants as soon as the virus is noticed.

Soil Conditions

Prepare the soil well before sowing by incorporating lots of compost, well-rotted manure and general fertilizer.

Uses

Pods with half-ripe seeds are shelled and the seeds cooked. Broad beans are very nutritious.

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