How to Plant & Grow Fava Beans


Fava beans (Vicia faba), often called broad beans, are fast-growing, pale green beans with large pods. Favas have a creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor. This bean is not the most popular in the United States, but has long been a favorite in many other places including the Middle East, South America and Europe. Fava beans can be served in salads, cooked fresh or preserved and served at a later date. They are also planted as a cover crop in many areas.

Step 1

Prepare the planting location by removing all large rocks and weeds. Loosen the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Add a 5-10-10 fertilizer one week before planting the beans at a rate of 1 cup for each 50-foot row.

Step 2

Use a garden hoe to create as many rows as you would like to plant. Leave 24 inches between each row.

Step 3

Plant the fava beans 1 to 2 inches deep. Leave 3 to 6 inches between each bean seed that you sow. Water thoroughly at the time of planting.

Step 4

Water whenever there is less than 1 inch of rain per week. This is especially important during the period when the bean pods are forming.

Step 5

Weed fava bean plants often to prevent nutrient loss and insect infestation. Remove any side shoots that develop at the bottom of the fava bean plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork or tiller
  • Garden hoe
  • 5-10-10 fertilizer


  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension: Growing Beans in the Home Vegetable Garden
  • BBC Home: How to Grow Broad Beans
  • Oregon State University Extension: Fava Bean
  • National Public Radio: Fava Beans: A Little Spring on Your Plate
Keywords: fava beans, plant fava beans, grow fava beans, broad beans

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.