Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Fava Fiasco

I had big plans this winter of planting a fava bean cover crop. I didn't get the seeds in the ground until the second week of November, though, and though I got a lot of germination the seedlings did not survive. I think the soil was too cold and wet by the time I planted. So now I have disappointing empty beds. I also dug down into the paths, to make the beds more raised. It worked well, but because I needed to keep the outer path level with the rest of the ground, I ended up with huge pools of water between the beds. I don't think this helped the favas either.

I did a combination of broadcasting and burying the seed, since I had about twice as much as I needed. I definitely recommend burying the seed. I used a digging fork to make one inch deep little holes, and put a few beans in each hole. I think burying these larger seeds helps them to root better, as I ended up with a lot of seed germinated on top of the soil that just sort of sat there like little orphans, not knowing where to put their roots. This fall, if I have a garden, I'll see what happens if I get the seeds in by early October. Maybe even the last week in September. I should have been more cognizant of the weather, which was unusually cold in October and November this year. Ah, well. Such is the way of gardening.

I'm excited to have the beds ready now for spring, though. I'll be planting some peas in the next week or so. Hopefully these will do better than the favas.

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