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Bean Seeds, Fava Windsor Broad Bean

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The Windsor fava bean is a popular European fava bean that was first noticed in 1863, and produces some of the largest beans around—about the size of a quarter. The plants grow up to 4 feet in height produce 4–8″ long pods with 3–7 seeds each. The flavor is mild and nutty and are great for eating at the green, shelling stage. Windsor favas can be planted in the fall and overwintered for a late harvest in spring.

Fava beans are also called faba or broad beans that are an annual legume plant believed to have originated in Northern Africa and/or Asia.

This plant is grown for its large, edible, and nutritious seeds.  As if it’s delicious and nutritious seeds weren’t enough, fava beans also fix nitrogen and can be grown as a cover crop to improve your soil quality. Generally considered easy to grow, this is a great crop for beginner and expert gardeners alike.

How to Grow Pole Beans Pole Bean Varieties Bush Bean Varieties How to Grow Bush Beans Companion Plant Guide

  • Botanical Name: Vicia faba
  • Treated: No
  • Bean Type:  Edible Cover Crop Vegetable
  • Pod Color:  Straight, Round Flattened, Smooth, green
  • Seed Color:  Green
  • Germination Time:  10-25 Days
  • Days to Maturity:  80-110 Days
  • Maximum Height:  4 Feet
  • Spread:  Upright, May require staking
  • Fruit / Blossom Size:  4-8in Pods
  • Breed:  Open Pollinated
  • Germination Rate:  90%
  • Lifecycle: Annual
  • Watering:  Moderate to High
  • Sow Method:  Direct Sow or Transplant
  • Sow Depth: 2 inch
  • Plant Spacing: 4 inch
  • Row Spacing: 12 inches 


Common Problems

The bean mosaic diseases cause plants to turn a yellowish green and produce few or no pods. The leaves on infected plants are a mottled yellow and are usually irregularly shaped. The only satisfactory control for these diseases is to use mosaic-resistant bean varieties.

Bright yellow or brown spots on the leaves or water-soaked spots on the pods are signs of bacterial bean blight. Bacterial blight is best controlled by planting disease-free seed; avoiding contact with wet bean plants; and removing all bean debris from the garden.


Open pollinated means this plants flowers are fertilized by bees, moths, birds, bats, and even the wind or rain. The seed that forms produces the same plant the following year. 

All heirlooms are open pollinated, but not all open pollinated plants are heirlooms. Only a small fraction of the plant world is considered heirloom.

This variety has a history of being passed down within communities and families as early as the 1700's, similar to the generational sharing of items like jewelry or furniture.

  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lovage
  • Catnip
  • Rosemary
  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Nasturtium


  • Marigold deters Mexican bean beetles
  • Nasturtium and rosemary deter bean beetles
  • Summer savory deters bean beetles, improves growth and flavor


  • Garlic, onion and shallot stunt the growth of beans
  • Beets
  • Fennel

Windsor Fava Bean can be harvested in earlier stages of growth but are best when the pods are firm and about 6″ long. Harvest by pulling them gently from their vines, starting at the bottom of the plant and working your way up.

Store unshelled beans can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

PRESERVE: The most common way to preserve fava beans is to freeze them: open the pods, blanch the beans, and then place in freezer bags.

PREPARE: Although great for your garden and nutritious, these beans take time to prepare. Mature beans must first be removed from their pods by separating at the “seam.” Once removed, the peas must be shelled by blanching them. They should slip out of their casing easily once they have cooled. Once shelled, they can be eaten as is, steamed, or mashed. Young fava bean pods can be eaten whole without being cooked, and the greens can be consumed raw as well.