(Vicia faba) Mediterranean native that is quite different from ordinary beans. Prefers cool weather, tolerates frost. Can be early fall-sown in Zone 6 and higher. In very cold-winter regions, plant in late winter or early spring. Sow the seed 1 to 2 inches deep in full sun. For beans, allow 8-12 inches between the plants; for soil improvement, space much closer and mow or till when the plants begin to bloom.