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 an experiment in over-winter cropping 
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Joined: Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:10 am
Posts: 99
Location: Corvallis
Post an experiment in over-winter cropping
Last Halloween I planted fava seeds about eight inches apart just outside the drip line of all the little fruit trees. The idea was to perhaps marginally improve the soil and to make use of otherwise fallow areas/times, as the favas would grow while the trees were dormant and be done before the burst of summer growth. Afterwards I read that deer do not care for fava beans. This seems to have been borne out this spring. Deer fed on my neighbor's little apple tree, and tasted some other plants in my front yard, but did not touch either the fava beans or the fruit trees. Last spring the deer stripped the fruit trees. The fava bean plants seem to have made effective protective rings around them.

As additional benefits fava greens are fairly tasty (saute with garlic; they cook and shrink like spinach); and multiple neighbors have commented on how attractive the plants are and how the yard looks good with them up.

The experiment has worked well enough that my intent is to repeat it this coming October. The only difference will be to move them a little further out from the drip line.

Tue May 31, 2011 8:30 pm

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1406
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: an experiment in over-winter cropping
I like fava beans as a cover crop for the same reason. Easy to grow, cool looking, nitrogen fixing, good to eat.

Just don't order them with a light chianti or Hannibal Lecter might show up. :)
John S

Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:59 am
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