This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


fava5 fava4
This crop is a new one for me. My fava beans are now about two feet tall and are starting to lean over. I was figuring the fence would support them but they have no tendrils. Maybe I'll need to tie them to it or support the stems with branches.

I have also found lots of black aphids on the upper parts of the plants. It turns out that favas are often infested by black aphids. Maybe its time to order some lady bugs? I'll watch as see what happens.

Vicia faba



Anonymous Joe said...

I collect assassin bugs and release them into my garden. They eat aphids like crazy and will take out leaf hoppers, squash bugs, etc as they get bigger. The way I think of it is lady bugs are fun for kids, but assassin bugs are for grown ups :)

June 06, 2007 1:30 PM

Anonymous Patrick said...

After the plants have sent out 1 or 2 spirals of flowers (you'll know what I mean when the plants actually do this), you should cut off the top of the plant. This will reduce the aphid problem and increase your harvest. It will allow the plant to concentrate on making beans instead of more flowers.

June 06, 2007 2:11 PM

Blogger carletongardener said...

Great! Thanks for the advice. the aphids are multiplying.

June 07, 2007 9:02 PM

Anonymous Patrick said...

John on Spade Work was posting on this recently, and he noticed his over-wintered fava beans didn't have as much of an aphid problem, probably because they were able to get a faster start and get big before the aphids appeared. He was also planting two different varieties, which could explain all or part of the difference as well.

Your climate is probably too cold for over-wintering favas, but perhaps part of the problem you are having is because you started them a bit late.

Fava beans can tolerate temperatures down to 0F (-10C), and are normally planted as soon as the ground can be dug in the spring. They also don't tolerate warm summer weather well.

June 08, 2007 10:18 AM

Blogger carletongardener said...

I'm watching for the flower spirals. I'm hoping they come soon. Then I'll remove the aphid infested stems. We're having so much rain these days. Don't know if that's good or bad for the aphids.

June 09, 2007 11:21 PM

Blogger carletongardener said...

The favas have their first set of flowers now. Nice big black and white flowers. The aphids are still there (no more bugs, but no less). The plants don't seem to mind them and are doing fine. The aphids don't bother anything else in the garden. After I get another set of flowers, I'll cut of the tops of the plants.

June 14, 2007 9:45 PM


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