Dear Gentle Reader,
I have to tell you how great the service is at Territorial Seed Co. It is Fabulous! Yesterday morning, I e-mailed them about the chocolate spot on my Fava beans, since I wasn’t sure what to do with it or if it was safe to eat them. I got an answer later that very same day, from a nice person named Lori! I was really surprised. I hadn’t expected to hear back for at least a week. Lori said that I need to remove and destroy the diseased plants, and that you can spray the remaining plants with carbendazim, which is a broad spectrum fungicide. Unfortunately, all of my plants are diseased, so I need to get rid of them all. I think I will put the plants in a clear plastic bag, in the sun, for about a week or so, to kill the fungus before I compost them.
To prevent future outbreaks of chocolate spot, Lori recommended to fertilize before planting, don’t plant too closely together, keep the leaves dry, and practice a 4-year crop rotation. Well, I planted the plants too closely together, since I have been doing the square-foot gardening, and the leaves have been wet quite a bit, due to the constant rain and/or my watering. BTW, I also read up on Fava beans, and apparently they stop forming beans when it gets too hot (e.g., about 70-degrees). No wonder they stopped making beans. It has been very hot here the last several weeks. I should have planted them as soon as the ground was workable (e.g., February). Live and learn.
So, I am going to pull the plants out and replace them with zinnias. They will grow well during the summer, and at least I will have some flowers to cut.
Next year, I am going to try out a smaller/shorter version of Fava beans, and plant much earlier, in the next garden box over. I will give them more room, and maybe spray them with copper on a weekly basis. Also, I will do some more reading up on them before then.
Update 7-1-10: The Fava beans got torn out. Still need to plant.