Broad beans or Vicia faba are legumes with a taste between sweet and bitter and from the Middle East. They are part of many cuisines around the world and are usually served raw, in stews or in salads. They come from an annual herbaceous plant, which can reach between 30 and 160 cm in height. It has black and white flowers and its racemes can be up to 12 flowers.
Have you ever eaten beans? Because of their strong flavor, they are not usually a very popular food, but it can be delicious in recipes if you know how to prepare it. If you want to know more about this legume and its planting, you are in the right place! Here we reveal how to sow beans, all the secrets of their cultivation and how to take advantage of the lunar calendar to improve their sowing. Let’s get started!
How to plant broad beans – step by step
Fava beans occur mainly in temperate zones. The ideal time for cultivation begins in the winter months and ends in the early spring. The cold weather months are very good for them and should be grown in substrates with a neutral pH or 5.5 to 7. On the other hand, its collection period begins during the month of March
If you take all this into account and follow the steps that we give you below, surely your cultivation of beans will be very successful. Here we explain how to plant beans step by step:
- Select and prepare the soil. Remove the soil to a depth of 30 cm.
- To ensure good drainage, put in a layer of sand to serve as a filter, then a layer of compost, and finally the layer of soil that you initially removed.
- Soak the bean seeds for about 24 hours before sowing them.
- Open holes 6 cm deep, with a distance of 30 cm between each one. Place up to 3 broad bean seeds per hole and cover with substrate.
- You can plant up to 50 seeds per square meter.
- Use a constant watering system, but be careful not to water the leaves of the plant, as they can suffer from fungus. Do not water with too much water, as its roots could rot.
It is very important that you monitor and care for your plants correctly to avoid the appearance of fungi and pests. In our article How to eliminate black aphids from beans, we explain more about it so that your beans can be successful and grow healthy.
Sowing of early broad beans
Among the broad bean varieties, early beans or first beans are those that begin to bear fruit after 40 or 60 days of planting. Its flowers are white with black spots and hanging pods. The size of this type of beans is small, as its maximum height is 80 cm.
These types of beans are adapted to a wide variety of climates, except extreme heat. In countries with 4 seasons, their growing period is most successful in the fall or spring, with cycles of 120 days until harvest. If you want to know how to sow beans early, follow these steps:
- Choose the early bean seeds. You can find them in nurseries or in specialized stores.
- Prepare the ground. As we explained in the previous section, it must have good drainage.
- Make ridges to plant the broad beans to ensure that they will not puddle when it rains. The minimum depth of each groove must be 30 cm and the maximum 60 cm
- Place the first broad beans in water for 20 hours before sowing to speed up the germination process.
- Place 2 to 4 seeds in each hole, which should be 4 to 6 cm deep and separated by a distance of at least 30 cm.
- Water abundantly but without generating puddles.
- Water daily with the intention of only moistening the soil. In 8 days, you will notice the first sprouts.
Planting beans: lunar calendar
Culture and popular beliefs have always influenced planting and agriculture. Although some of these ideas were rarely supported by scientific studies, knowledge was passed from generation to generation because of its effectiveness. Such is the case of the influence of the lunar calendar on harvests, as it is a belief that, today, has been proven to be true.
The relationship between lunar cycles and harvests was first studied in Mesopotamia. This made it possible to create a calendar that was adapted to the sowing and harvesting times. Mesopotamians observed that planting the same plant species in different lunar phases produced different results.
When it comes to planting bean plants, this knowledge can be used if we plant them in the new moon or waning moon phase. These stages are also ideal for all plants that grow tall and bear fruit, such as corn, bell pepper, tomato, and peas. We can summarize the explanation of this phenomenon in several points:
- In the new Moon phase, the Sun reflects less of its light on the lunar surface, so it is not visible from Earth.
- This moment is important in the sowing of beans and other plants, since the sap is concentrated in the root and the growth of the plant is accelerated.
- This happens because the Moon is at the farthest point in its orbit with the Earth, so the sap and water of the plants begin to descend along with the force of the lunar attraction.
On the other hand, the crescent moon phase is ideal for transplanting germinated broad bean seedlings into seedbeds. During this phase, the following occurs:
- The moon is getting closer to Earth.
- The force of attraction of the Moon on the Earth increases, so that the water and the sap rise in the bean plants.
- Thanks to this, broad beans concentrate their sap in the stem and branches, both of which grow more easily and this helps them bear fruit.