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.

By, By Favas. You were fun while you lasted.