Watching the seasonal BBC program Gardeners’ World on YouTube each week has some of us sorely disappointed with our fava beans. Gardeners in the UK grow fava (or broad) bean plants that reach 5-6’ and produce 10-12” pods full of big plump beans. The fava beans we’ve grown are less impressive (I’m embarrassed to share how much less). So we’ve decided to try doing things a bit differently this year.
We’re trying a new variety called Ianto’s from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. This variety is advertised as having “massive beans borne on impressive 6-foot-tall plants.”
We’re also seeding our fava beans indoors. (We typically plant them in the soil the first Saturday in April.) The beans were planted in 6-packs and placed under lights on March 18. The germination was astonishingly good, and they emerged significantly faster than our outdoor sowings.
The seedlings were planted in the garden on April 8 (see photo above). Their first week inflicted the classic New England spring indignity of overnight lows of 30° and daytime highs of 90°… though they’re still standing tall. Watch this space!