Photo by Melody
Are you ready? It's time for our 14th annual photo contest! Enter your best pictures of the year, for a chance to win a calendar and annual subscription here. Hurry! Deadline for entries is October 21.

Vegetable Gardening: Lima Beans?

Communities > Forums > Vegetable Gardening
bookmark
Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 31, Views: 235
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 2, 2012
6:23 AM

Post #9262153

Last year I grew Eastland and Jackson Wonder bush lima beans, and this year I tried Fordhook #242. In both cases they seemed to take a very long time to mature into pods worth picking, and I would get only enough for a pint at a time when I went out to harvest them.

I'm wondering whether that's typical; they seem so labor-intensive for so little reward, but we really like them. Would I do better with pole limas?

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 2, 2012
12:25 PM

Post #9262499

Sometimes the best answer is to increase the amount of plants- doubling the plants will give you twice the yields etc. For instance, a farmer feels very good to get one egg a day from a chicken- that's hi yield- I don't grow corn because it takes a lot of plants for enuff to feed me. And I dont have space. Your Limas are probably doin their best.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 2, 2012
4:33 PM

Post #9262717

Thanks, Kittriana. Last year I had two double rows of limas; this year I ordered from Landreth and was really disappointed in the amount of seeds in each package - not at all what was advertised. So I ended up with only one single row. But still, even with my two double rows it seemed that I scarcely got enough to process at each picking! I was just wondering if others have had the same experience.
TXbabybloomer
Dayton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 3, 2012
3:19 AM

Post #9263006

This summer was my first time to grow limas. (Christmas Limas) They were somewhat of a disappointment to me. And I so badly wanted to grow them. (My favorite food as a kid was fresh speckled butterbeans with ham.) But there never seemed to be enough at one time to bother cooking any. I did get some 'seed' beans for next year - and that was about it. Sure hope next year to get a much better harvest! Think I will plant more next time, as kittriana suggested. And the soil will be richer next year too, so should help a lot. Better luck to us both next time greenhouse_gal!!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2012
4:10 AM

Post #9263023

Thanks, TXbabybloomer. Yes, that was similar to the experience I had this year. Last year because I planted more I got more, but they came over such a long period that it was a pain to keep looking for what was finally developed enough to be worth picking. Were your Christmas limas pole or bush? I think next year I'll try pole and see if that's better.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 3, 2012
7:05 AM

Post #9263164

Sometimes the years just don't cooperate either- and that killer drought- and the year catching no winter so bugs were bad, a lot of folx I know blame germination on plants not coming up- I always blamed the critters for eating too many. When you make an order, make sure the order number has the seed packet size you want- and plant 3 to get 1 if you direct sow- have you considered trying both the pole and bush Lima if you have space? Hmmm, I see Isaac is hitting the NE now, that storm sure is carryin the water!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 3, 2012
9:10 AM

Post #9263287

Normally I don't have to overplant, but Landreth's fava bean packets contained less than advertised and they also didn't germinate well, so I really didn't have enough out of two packets even to bother harvesting. The two packets of limas did a little better. I think I'll just try pole limas next year and save my back!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 3, 2012
6:28 PM

Post #9263898

Chuckl- may Mother Nature smile upon you
TXbabybloomer
Dayton, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 4, 2012
5:04 PM

Post #9265003

My Christmas Limas were pole. I much prefer pole now that I'm older.Too easy for me to topple over when bending to pick bush beans. lol
I ordered King Of The Garden Limas from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds last month, when I ordered my Fall seeds. I find them very generous with their seeds. Next Spring I'll plant them, along with the Christmas Lima seed I saved. I have a 15 foot tunnel trellis to plant, and I'm thinking I'll plant 1/2 of it in limas.
~Diana

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 5, 2012
5:10 AM

Post #9265494

Diana, maybe I'll try those limas too. I usually don't order from BC because I find them more expensive than other places. Thanks!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 5, 2012
5:57 PM

Post #9266338

Christmas beans are vigorous climbers. We grow them and their lima relatives every year (butter beans and butter peas). They are always productive.

Leslie, I can't offer expertise on growing limas in your zone, but know that they need to be planted way after green beans and take a long time to mature. Once they do mature they produce over a long season. In my case I plant anywhere between late May to July. They produce through freeze. This year I planted in late June on the same line as snow peas had been. Perhaps your season is too short to grow a productive crop. It's maybe like the Mainers who grow okra. The plants look great but they get no okra. We are currently picking dried lima pods of several varieties and the plants are still blooming profusely. We have vines over twenty feet (up an eight foot arbor, across a six foot span and down the other side).

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 6, 2012
7:04 AM

Post #9266826

Laurel, I guess my beef with limas is the long season over which they mature, which means that unless you have a lot of plants, any single picking isn't going to result in enough for a meal or for a package to freeze. Snap beans aren't like that, and it may just require getting used to the way limas produce. I did plant them significantly later than the green beans, and they are still blooming, but I guess I just didn't get enough seeds in those two Landreth packets to give me a decent crop.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 6, 2012
3:35 PM

Post #9267307

Leslie, I can harvest at least one or more pounds of dry beans from a double 6'-8' row of climbers. That would be about three pounds fresh weight. I have doubled that weight with one variety this summer. The only bush type bean for drying I am growing this year is Steuben. This is a more northern heirloom and would perhaps give you more harvest for dry beans than limas.

Contrary to what one might assume, limas are native to climes that are temperate. I can grow good plants in the heat of summer but they don't produce heavily until we get over that extreme hot period Then they go gangbusters until it freezes. Perhaps your summer peak temps are too hot and the time remaining until freeze is too short. If you have a space large enough to spare you could plant more. I'd probably use my space for something else. I don't think you can compare green beans to beans grown for just the bean, fresh or dried. It's like comparing tomatillos to tomatoes. A different animal (or in this case vegetable) altogether.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 7, 2012
4:12 AM

Post #9267722

When you say you can harvest that amount, do you mean over the long season or at one picking? My objection is how little I get with each picking. And which variety allowed you to double that weight?

I tried growing white coco beans once, for my cassoulets, and got only enough dry beans for a single quart from a double 12' row. Never tried that again. For me dry beans are too labor intensive for very little return!

Maybe my limas will take off if it ever cools down!
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 7, 2012
8:38 AM

Post #9267922

Leslie, we can harvest over a very long season. We have been picking black butterbeans http://www.localharvest.org/pole-lima-bean-seeds-black-knight-butterbean-C15225 like crazy for a month and they show no sign of flagging. We pick the pods as soon as we hear a rattle, indicating the pod is dry enough to easily crack. The flowers on these beans form like clusters of grapes, with many spikes radiating from a central stem and four or more pods per spike. I was given some NOID black butterbeans from a N.C. gardener and a named version from a GA gardener. I find dry beans are anything but labor intensive. Very little soil prep and no cultivation. If you plant bush versions they will eat your space. I'm not seeing you as having the length of season to grow a productive amount. Dry beans are cheap but I like to grow more exotic ones. I don't bother with the 89 cent a pound beans. To me they are a special garden reminder in winter when the garden is, for the most part, asleep.

I am going out of town for a few days but will try to upload some photos.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 9, 2012
12:12 PM

Post #9269920

Yesterday's black butterbeans. They were picked exactly one week before. I measured the row. It's a double seven foot row. The beans were all planted on the north side to run up and toward the south. They continue to put out new growth near their bases while running over twenty feet at this point. The arbor is four sapling poles reinforced with six foot metal fence posts. There are four saplings lashed to the periphery and one cross bar sapling. two by four gauge is laying across the top. I ran the beans on old knitting yarn!

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel
Click an image for an enlarged view.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 9, 2012
5:21 PM

Post #9270165

That looks like quite a crop, Laurel. And these are dried beans? I picked a few limas this morning but only got a handful of fairly full pods.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 11, 2012
11:30 AM

Post #9272048

Those are dried but they get left to dry indoors even more thoroughly for a few weeks before storage. Here are a few pics looking up inside the arbor. You can see that while some pods are brown, others are still forming and flowers continue to bloom.

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Garden_Sass
Central, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 12, 2012
6:05 AM

Post #9272876

MaypopLaurel,

Do you always use these as a dry bean? How would you rate their flavor? Where can I get the seed?
rjogden
Gainesville, FL
(Zone 8b)

September 12, 2012
2:24 PM

Post #9273301

[quote="Garden_Sass"]MaypopLaurel,

Do you always use these as a dry bean? How would you rate their flavor? Where can I get the seed?[/quote]
Didn't she say http://www.localharvest.org/pole-lima-bean-seeds-black-knight-butterbean-C15225 ?

-Rich

MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2012
4:48 PM

Post #9273406

These beans must be at least partially dried to shell. You can't shell them in a green pod. The pod should have a slight rattle before picking. They taste like butterbeans which I think taste like a creamy lima bean. I love limas but they are, in the bean scheme of things, more grainy. The beans I have are a named variety, Harry's Black Jungle butterbeans, and were gifted. I have pointed you to a source of beans that appear to be a variety of mine. I will not be sharing additional seed for at least another year as seed is already promised to friends. I always save a stash to plant and rely on eating what we grow. What I am growing this year, the beans you see, come from seventeen germinated seeds (out of twenty). They have never been sprayed with anything or fertilized. The soil was limed and some cow manure put down prior to planting. I think it's important to provide appropriate trellising for the bean variety you grow if it's a climber. Once a bean reaches a six or eight foot top on a pole, when it has the potential to grow twenty or more feet, it will quit running and producing flowers. This is really why my beans are very productive. Once they reach the top of their poles I'll start looking for ways to let them run horizontally. I've included two not so definitive photos of my Christmas beans to show that they will be able to run horizontally. These were planted very late, over snow peas, and are flowering and setting now. Our first frost date is the end of the first week of November. We should have plenty of lima beans from this double six foot row. Note that I grow in small spaces. This row is a double six foot stand.

People tend to plant them in spring, along with green bean types, which is way to early for this type of bean. Lima types will rot if planted before the soil is on the dry side and the temps are warm.

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel         
Click an image for an enlarged view.

Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

September 12, 2012
4:54 PM

Post #9273411

I have raised Fordhook 242 bush limas for several years. I tried them in pole limas, but they were not that productive. I pick them for green limas at about 1/3 to 1/2 dry lima size and love the flavor.

I plant enough to get a medium/ large serving every 3 days. They are a bit hard to get a good stand.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

September 12, 2012
4:58 PM

Post #9273416

Over what period do your limas produce?
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

September 12, 2012
7:15 PM

Post #9273525

Mine produce in August and September and a bit in October.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 13, 2012
3:44 AM

Post #9273767

Indy, how many do you plant?
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

September 13, 2012
9:03 AM

Post #9273994

I like about 125 feet.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 14, 2012
12:05 PM

Post #9275155

Wow, that's a lot of plants!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 15, 2012
10:17 AM

Post #9275914

Indiana- one of those 'fly over states' - isn't as crowded as NJ, our EX garden state turning concrete. You have to figure how much plants will provide how much food you are trying to put away, and plant a bit extra

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

September 15, 2012
4:46 PM

Post #9276169

Kittriana, our area of NJ is very sparsely populated - lots of rivers and marshes and fields. We've got 20 acres ourselves; just didn't plan on putting it all in lima beans!

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 15, 2012
7:58 PM

Post #9276295

Sorry, southern half is a bit more open, I've watched the regions around Trenton for many years, and that area, was always sad to see more and more of it turning into developments, I wish you luck, they've been giving you what they know, I hope it's of some use.
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

December 16, 2012
3:34 PM

Post #9360103

Bean update...

We have been traveling and not been to our garden in N. GA for almost six weeks. There have been lots of frosts and temps in the twenties and thirties since mid-November. What a surprise to see the seventeen Harry's Black Jungle bean plants still at it. We picked a grocery store bag of dry pods to shell today. The vines are still green and there are green leaves. It's protected enough beneath the bean arbor for a potted jalapeno to keep on going. Jalapenos and lima beans in mid-December in the N. GA mountains (zone 7a).

Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel   Thumbnail by MaypopLaurel      
Click an image for an enlarged view.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

December 17, 2012
5:16 AM

Post #9360406

That's amazing, Laurel! My garden's been defunct for a while now, although I still have the one kale plant that made it past the gnawing critters.

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Vegetable Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
very important question farmgirl21 31 Jan 8, 2008 12:31 AM
Need Source For Chinese Vegetable Seed berrygirl 18 Jun 15, 2008 7:21 PM
An accidental lesson Farmerdill 26 Feb 24, 2013 12:10 PM
Planting the "Three sisters" HilltopDaisy 94 Jul 6, 2011 3:38 AM
Rhubarb emilyrasmus 19 Apr 25, 2013 4:55 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America