planting technique for large scale plantings of Fava beans for purpose of green manure crop

planting technique for large scale plantings of Fava beans for purpose of green manure crop

by jerry
(Petaluma, cal,94044)

With regards to a large scale planting of Fava Beans, does one use a seeder or do they just scatter the seed, harrow and board for an en masse seeding for green manure crop?

I realize the dual row bed technique is for the intention of fresh market. But what I need is a specific explanation on how to seed for a thick green manure crop.

Also, in using this technique, how many pounds per acre?



Jerry, first of all with regards to seeding rates for fava beans you can use 125-150 pounds of seed per acre for the smaller fava bean varieties and 150-300 pounds of seed per acre for the larger varieties.

These rates are for a thick crop. If you don't want a lot of biomass, then you can reduce the seeding rate. Some farmers only use 80 lbs of seed, per acre, for example.

It is best to plant the seeds 3 inches deep in well prepared soil. If you have stony soil, go over the soil and compact to make sure that you have good soil/seed contact.

You can plant using a drill that is set to rows 30 inches apart, or you can use a corn planter.

The distance between plants for a cover crop should be 6 inches.

You can, however, just broadcast the seed as well, which is what you had suggested in your email. However, seeding in rows gives a better result.

Countryfarm Lifestyles

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Oct 15, 2014
by: Anonymousjerry v

Thanks guys for the info…invaluable.

Question; on the favas- when I used to do corn, pumpkin and all the large seed types like the zucchini and other squash also beans and peas, I used to place them in water overnight to get them to swell and take on water.

The next day, I would take out, drain off the water, toss them onto a fine wire and air dry them but not in the direct sun. As soon as the seeds where dry and their skins where not soft, I ran thru my Hoss seeder. I also would plant most veggies that grew/produced 'OUT' of the ground 2 weeks from the full moon on the bigger seeds and up to 5-6 days, and the smaller seeds like lettuce, spinach etc.10 to 3 days prior to the full moon. The differences are staggering in the planting of these types in the opposite conditions. One is pre near 100%, versus 60 to 80% and less if too early or too late in the seasons.
Anyhow….back to the Favas, 1)is there some way to pre-fix nitrogen to the seed? 2) Are you supposed to soak them in an application or is it done dry? 3) How long is the soaking if done and 4) what is used and in what amounts.thanks- jerry

Jerry, pre-soaking many seeds will give your plants a much quicker germination period as you have found out. Of course there are some seeds that need to be scarified before they will germinate, but that is for another posting.

With regards to fixing nitrogen, here is a very good article that perhaps answers all your questions.

Nitrogen Fixation

Mar 02, 2014
farm land to lease
by: jerry

I was wondering; besides craigslist, does anybody have any suggestions as to where I can either look or post, and inquiry into leasing farm land with water infrastructure anywhere north of the Golden Gate Bridge and as far north as Healdsburg/Cloverdale region?

I am looking for 10 to 20 acres for organic truck farming. Have the essential tools already. Also have an in-depth resume if needed. are ok…but I have found them very slow and undermanned to even respond most of the time.


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