Broad bean

Broad beanVicia faba, also known as the broad bean, fava bean, faba bean, field bean, bell bean, English bean, horse bean, Windsor bean, pigeon bean and tic(k) bean, is a species of flowering plant in the vetch and pea family Fabaceae. It is not a true bean. The origin of broad beans is obscure, but the best information indicates the Mediterranean area.

The broad bean has high plant hardiness; it can withstand harsh and cold climates. Cold tolerance among fava bean cultivars varies, but most varieties winter-kill at temperatures below -9°C (15 °F) and even the most winter-hardywinter-kill at temperatures below -12°C (10 °F). Fava bean grows during cool weather when other vetches and clovers are relatively dormant, but does not tolerate heat well. Unlike most legumes, the broad bean can be grown in soils with high salinity, and a wide range of pH values (4.5–8.3) as well as in clay soil. However, it does prefer to grow in rich loams.

Broad beans will grow best at soil temperatures between 15.5 and 18.3°C (60–65°F) and will not grow well at temperature below below 4.4 °C (40°F) or above 23.8 °C (75°F). Broad bean is particularly susceptible to high temperatures during the summer which makes the plants unproductive. Broad beans will grow best in a fertile, well-draining soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.75 located in full sunlight.[10] Broad beans should be direct seeded in the garden in Spring as soon as the soil is workable and temperature is above 4.4°C (40°F) with the optimum temperature for germination being between 10 and 21°C (50–70°F). A second planting can be made in early Fall in areas with moderate winters. Seeds should be planted 2.5–5.0 (1–2 in) deep allowing 7.5–15 cm (3–6) in between plants and approximately 0.6 m ( 2 ft) between rows.[10] Tolerance to heat, drought and flood is very low. An excellent nitrogen producer, follow on crops can be given half the usual rate of nitrogen. Grows well in nitrogen poor soils. (Source: Wikipedia)

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