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8

An important thing that many people miss is that if a cover crop produces fruit and seed (beans in your case) it is no longer a cover crop or green manure, but a crop, which depletes the soil rather than rebuilding it. That is, all the nitrogen a legume has put into the soil during the growth stage, is consumed by the plant during the fruiting stage. So if ...


7

Normally with cover crops you want them to grow as long as possible, where possible is influenced by: When you plan to plant the actual crop (including some time for breakdown of the cover crop residues.) Is the cover crop about to set seed and become a weed through self-seeding? The tops/leaves are also valuable material - you can either incorporate ...


6

Usually, you would wait until the plants are in full flower, and have no ripe seeds, then cut/mow the tops down and turn them under. This will add the most nitrogen to the soil (the green tops are very high in Nitrogen), and the soil microorganism population will jump, increasing nutrient availability. In a raised bed, if you don't want to turn the tops ...


5

They like full sun, but don't like temperatures much above 75 deg F. If your temperatures are regularly much higher in full sun, it might be sensible to either move them where there's some protection from midday sun, or provide some shading for them. Moving them out of the sun permanently isn't such a good idea. It depends how long they've been growing ...


5

In "Seed to Seed" (Suzanne Ashworth), p 138 it says that favas are hardy annuals, tolerating frost but not hard freezes. The advice I've typically seen is to start them in early spring to harvest before it gets too hot. You'll want to check the time to maturity on your particular variety, and your first frost date for wherever you are in NJ. The couple of ...


5

Fava beans are a favored fall cover crop because they enrich the soil, protect against nutrient loss, feed the rhizobacteria, and produce a high protein food. It's usually sewed straight after your summer crop so that you get a month or so of growth and nitrogen fixation before the cold weather sets in slowing growth down. It should be cut to the ground ...


2

Firstly, you should dig the bed over to break up the beans' nodules and release nutrients evenly throughout the bed. You don't even have to bury the top growth: you can lay it on the bed as a mulch. Doing this it'll make no difference whether or not it has dried out, although damp foliage is heavier thus less likely to blow away. Mulching will feed the ...


2

I saved beans from the spring crop for future seed in a bag and beetles are now emerging from them. They have the same size and shape as summer bean beetles, but darker color. In past i just save the seed in an open container, and I knew there were larva in the seed from the holes in the beans, but the seed still sprouted so I didn't care.


2

The two insects that I know of which would do this are leaf cutter bees and flea beetles. If the bug is in fact a beetle then it’s most likely a member of the leaf beetle family. By the looks of it neither is considered harmful, just a nuisance (though I wouldn’t mind having the leaf cutter bees in my garden for pollination).


2

They're not getting enough sun. Your plants are etiolated. They want at least six straight hours of direct sunlight, minimum. 8-12 is better. Move them to a sunnier spot. Also, in a pot, you want to use potting mix, not garden soil. This is because of drainage issues in the very different environment, mostly. Next time, you can use a quality potting mix, ...


1

As they've been causing so much havoc, I've been doing more research and found out that they're not bean beetles. They're bean weevils: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bean_weevil That picture of what they did to the beans is exactly what's going on with our favas. Really damaged this year's crop. Now it's time to research organic controls!



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