How to Grow Fava Beans


Growing your own food is a great way to provide you and your family with a healthy, affordable diet. If you have a little extra room in your garden, plant fava beans as soon as the last frost has passed. In three months your beans will be ready for harvest. Saute the young, fresh beans in butter, or shell and boil the beans before chilling them for nutritious spring salads.

Step 1

Turn over the soil in your vegetable garden with a shovel or garden fork. This will loosen the soil and prepare it for planting. Mix in plenty of rich, organic compost to improve the nutrient levels of the soil.

Step 2

Place your seeds into the soil 1 inch deep and 4 to 5 inches apart. If you are planting more then one row, space rows 20 to 30 inches apart.

Step 3

Cover the seeds with soil and pat it down gently. Water the area so that the ground is damp to a depth of at least 2 inches.

Step 4

Feel the soil every two to three days; when it begins to feel dry and crumbly to the touch, water the planting bed again. In wet, rainy weather you will not need to water at all.

Step 5

Harvest your crop by cutting the beans from the plant as they mature. Fava beans are ready for harvest 80 to 100 days after planting.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use nitrogen fertilizers; fava beans are a legume that fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere into the soil, too much extra nitrogen will stress the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or garden fork
  • Compost
  • Pruning sheers


  • Oregon State University: Fava Beans
  • BBC Gardening: Growing Broad Beans
  • University of California Extension: Fave Beans
Keywords: growing a vegetable garden, growing vegetables at home, growing legumes

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.