Fall & Winter Growing Guides


Peas and favas are very frost tolerant and make excellent winter-grown crops. A cool-season crop, they are best planted to mature when air temperatures are not constantly above 85°F. The fava bean, or broad bean, is the most frost tolerant of all beans. Fall planted, fava beans will over-winter and produce an abundant crop in early summer. Also grown as a cover crop, favas can serve as a unique dual-purpose crop for your winter garden.

CULTURE: Both peas and favas can be fall sown in zones 6 and above. They are frost tolerant down to 20°F. Most legumes prefer a rich soil, slightly heavy and well drained. A pH of 5.5–7.5 is well tolerated by most varieties, but a lime application on lower pH soils will increase nitrogen fixation. Watch for birds! We have found that flash tape is an effective deterrent. The addition of 1–2 cups of bone meal per 100 row feet, well dug into the soil, will greatly improve growth. Peas will perform better if trellised with string or a light fencing material.

DISEASES: In many parts of the country, cool season peas are subject to attack by powdery mildew. The first symptoms of powdery mildew are tiny discolored spots on the upper sides of leaves. These spots continue to develop into a white powdery mildew on the leaves, stems and pods. Many of the newer varieties of peas carry some resistance to the mildew. Powdery mildew can be controlled by applying light dustings of sulfur and spraying with 1% copper sulfate solution with a sticker-spreader. Favas are seldom attacked by disease. As with all vegetables, proper rotation and garden sanitation should be practiced to avoid disease buildup.

INSECTS: Pea and bean weevils can be a problem. They will eat holes in the outside edges of the leaf giving them a scalloped appearance. Weekly applications of Pyrethrin are effective deterrents if started at emergence.

HARVEST: Flowering will begin in early spring with pod set shortly after. Check the plants regularly for pod development. Harvest when the peas are at full size yet tender.

SEED SPECS: Minimum germination standard 80%. Usual seed life: 2–3 years if properly stored.


Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To Approximately 90-165 seeds per ounce.
1-1 1/2″1″40-75°F8-25Not Required

Pisum sativum
Sow peas in July to get an autumn crop before frosts. Keep well irrigated for best success. We offer pea enation resistant types, and proven cold hardy varieties from Europe, specially bred for fall harvests.

Fava Beans

Seed DepthSeed SpacingSoil Temp for Germ.Days to Germ.Thin Plants To One ounce sows 6-17 row feet depending on the variety. Seed counts are listed in each variety.
1-2″3-6″60-85°F8-15Not Required

Vicia faba