N. Cal: Windsor Favas (for food, not cover crop)

I've never grown fava beans before. Actually, I've never eaten fava beans before, but I'm told they're like lima beans, which I like. But it will be too cold for limas for a few months yeat
So, I just planted 6 fava beans today which I soaked a few days ago and which sprouted short roots while waiting for me to get the ground prepared. Soaking more tonight before planting them tomorrow.
The ground--clay soil. I added about 1/2 inch of sand and 2 inches of organic soil mix, plus some osmocote, plus some garden gypsum.
My soil has very low nitrogen. Favas are beans. I didn't buy any of that bean-powder bacteria culture. Will they still be okay? Will there be enough nitrogen fixing microbes to make the little root nodes that allow beans to self-fertilize and improve the soil?
How many plants does one person need for a decent crop of beans?
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your favas, yes, will behave like beans and make your soil fertile. Their taproot is well adapted to clay soils. But you should have planted them in september for an april crop. My favas suffer when summer comes, they pick up all sorts of diseases. People have mixed experiences about those powders (I do not use them, but I have some composted materials in there which contain similar bacteria). I don't know what you mean by a decent crop. Since they freeze beatifully, for me a decent crop is 50 lbs. 6 fava plants will probably give you enough to eat once. Picked young, they taste very good.
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newgardener wrote:

I grew fava beans one your using similar logic. I like lima beans but I have moved to an area that is too cool for good lima growth. I didn't like the taste of favas at all. They also attracted aphids like nothing I have ever grown before.
Steve
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Hi All, fava beans do tend to attract a lot of black fly. [ aphids ] It is best to plant them early in the season.I have just started mine now in the U. K. If you start them early by the time the aphids come out the beans are formed. To control the aphid population it is recomended that you cut off the top of the plant and burn it. The aphids go for the soft leaves, so once the tops are removed you will cut them down a lot. Allso you cut off the top of the plant to allow the beans to fill out. Hope this helps you. Richard M. Watkin.

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