March 26, 2012
Fava Broad Beans are Starting to Grow and Form Little Beans
After all the blossom drop without a bean ever forming, we have our first Windsor Fava broad beans. It just took a few warm days and the pollinators finally made it out to the plants. At first the bees seemed more drawn to the weeds but my husband took care of that with the lawnmower. The flowers are lovely with white petals and black markings, strangely enough when the flowers are pollinated the stem on the flower thickens and straighten up so the beans actually point to the sky. The ants seem really drawn to the plants and flowers so they may be doing the actual pollinating, and it is a sparse pollination the plants are getting for every cluster of five flowers perhaps one is being pollinated.
I have seen one aphid on the fava broad bean plants and am keeping a close watch because aphids are supposed to be such a menace for the plants. Aphids suck on the tender parts of plants distorting the growth. The intermittent heavy rain every few days may be helping on the aphid front.
To make growing fava beans worthwhile half of the garden would probably have to be planted and overwintered with just broad beans.