The broad bean is a truly precious legume for the garden: first of all because its seed resists winter in the field and is therefore one of the very few horticultural plants that can be sown in November, secondly because like other plants legumes add nitrogen to the soil, enriching the soil.
Let's learn more about the methods and timing of sowing this crop. Those wishing to continue reading can then move on to the complete guide on how to grow beans in the organic garden. From the depth of sowing to the phases of the moon we see together all the useful information to start cultivating this legume.
When to sow broad beans
There are two possible sowing periods for the fava bean (vicia faba): you can choose to put the legume in the ground in autumn, so between October and November, or opt for a spring sowing, planting the seed between February and March. Winter sowing accelerates the development of the plant which, as soon as the winter cold is over, can develop at its best, in areas where it is very cold, however, it is better to wait for March to arrive.
The right phase of the moon for beans
First of all, it should be specified that there is no scientific proof of a real influence on agriculture by the phases of the moon, however the custom of following the moon for sowing is still rooted in the agricultural tradition based on centuries of experience. The broad bean is a plant cultivated for its fruits and therefore should be sown on a growing moon, which is said to have a positive influence on the development of the aerial part of the plants and in particular on flowering and fruiting. However, legumes are very robust seeds and plants that develop in any case: even if the beans are sown on a waning moon it is not a problem. On Orto Da Coltivare at the request of many of you we have included a calendar of the moon phases, if you want to follow them you will find a useful reference.
Sowing depth and planting depth
An old rule is to bury each seed at least twice its size, applying it to the bean we are not wrong. We then put the seeds to a depth of 4-5 centimeters. It is not necessary to take care of the direction of the seed, you can bury the legume as it happens, it will still be able to make its way towards the surface, it is a particularly vigorous seed.
The beans can be sown by row, digging a sowing furrow, or in postarelle. If you decide to put them in the groove, make the rows about 70 centimeters apart and place the seeds every 20 centimeters, if you prefer the holes they should be kept at least 60 centimeters from each other.
These distances can be modified in relation to the different varieties of broad bean sown: if you choose dwarf plants you can put them closer, if you are dealing with very vigorous climbing varieties it is better to leave more space.
Before sowing the broad bean, the soil must be worked in depth, I recommend moving the earth with a spade or better still with a digging fork. The clods are then broken by hoeing and eventually incorporating organic substance and nutrients to the soil, the bean can be fertilized with mature manure or compost, in moderate quantities. It is also good to sprinkle wood ash as fertilizer, but even in this case it should not be exceeded. After working the soil, the seed bed must be refined, leveling it with a rake. On this level the grooves of the rows will be traced or the holes for the postarelle will be dug into which to put the beans.