Lima Beans Gardening Techniques and Tips
Today, we discuss the topic of lima beans gardening tips and ideas. Lima Beans are also called as the “ Butter Beans” as they have a texture which is starchy yet buttery. These have a flavor which is delicate and is used in many varieties of recipes. It is very tough to find the lima beans which are fresh, but it is worthy to look for them at the time of summer and autumn as it is the growing season for them. Canned and Dried lima beans will be available all across the year. Creating a lima beans gardening is as easy as other green beans plantation.
The pod of the lima beans will be slightly curved, oblong and flat. The length of the pod of the lima bean would be approximately 3 inches. In the pod, there are two or four seeds which have the shape of the kidneys which we actually term as Lima beans. The seeds will be green or cream in terms of color. Few varieties of lima beans will have colors like red, white, brown, purple or black.
Lima Beans are very easy to grow as well as nutritious. They are the natives of Central and South America. These are the vegetables which grow in the temperatures between 15°C to 25°C. Growing Christmas Lima beans is very simple. In this article, we will learn how to grow lima beans at your home in your backyard garden.
Sowing the lima bean seeds for Your Lima Beans Gardening:
- Before we start sowing the seeds, let us learn an important thing here. There are two important varieties of lima beans called Bush beans and Vine beans. Vine beans are also termed as Pole beans. They are mostly labelled as Determinate and Indeterminate respectively. Lima beans are the annual plants. This means that they will grow in one season every year. You can find the seeds of lima beans at a garden supply store or in the nursery present in your locality.
- Many people have questions about how tall do lima beans grow in 2 weeks and all and let me explain this. Bush beans will reach the stage of maturity in a very quick time. They are termed as Determinate plants as they will yield all the beans at a time. The bushes will grow to a height of 11 to 35 inches. It is always suggested to choose the bush varieties such as Firdhook or Henderson if you have decided to grow lima beans in a container.
- Vine varieties of lima beans are the once which are termed as “Indeterminate” as they reach the stage of maturity very slowly. They will always give a very good harvest per square foot. These vine varieties are prone to different diseases and this is the main problem with them. When on a pole, a vine lima bean plant will grow to a height of 4 meters. You can always consider growing the vine varieties in a backyard or a small garden.
- To start with, you will need to first start wrapping your lima beans in a paper towel which is wet. After that, make sure that you are sealing the towel by putting it in an airtight plastic bag. Allow the seeds to undergo the process of germination for a few numbers of days, they start sprouting the stems and roots which are small. Each individual bean has one stem which is noticeable and also prominent.
- If you are residing in a locality which gives the lima beans a short growing season, then you can start sowing the seeds in the seedling pots prior to 1 month when you are expecting the last frost of the spring season. You will need to bury every seed below 2 inches of the soil which is loose. The seeds have to be kept in a warm and moist climate which is not cooler than 15°C and not hotter than 21°C.
- You can also take into consideration the usage of a peat or paper pot which is biodegradable. The seedlings of lima bean are very delicate and are tough for the purpose of transplantation. So it is always safe to use a pot which you can plant directly into the level of the ground. Make sure that you are not planting a pot which is made of clay or plastic into the ground. If you do so, they will limit the growth of the plant.
Plantation for Your Lima Beans Gardening
- Lima beans are the ones whose native is Peru. They will grow their best in the climates which are warm. That is the temperature should be between 15°C to 21°C all across the season of growing. The seeds have to be planted a month before you expect the last frost in the spring so that the climatic conditions become warm from then. The temperature should not fall below 15°C at the time of evenings. The seedlings have to be sown if you are planting them in the indoor locations or else, you can directly sow the seeds in your area of plantation in the backyard.
- Always ensure that you are not planting the seeds too earlier. If the soil is cool and moist, there are more chances for the roots to rot. Again, if you plant them too much lately, the temperatures which are high will disturb the growth of the pod.
- Bush varieties of Lima beans which are “Determinate” will yield all the beans at a time. This will be a lot for us for handling if you are unable to sell them, cook them or freeze all of them within 15 days. If you want to make sure that you want a slow harvest, you can also try the plantation of a new batch of bush beans for every 15 days for at least 8 weeks after the last frost is done. This will keep the harvest of your bean for a longer time.
- The bush beans have to be placed at a distance of at least 6 inches from each other and the pole beans have to be placed at a distance of at least 10 inches from each other. The seeds have to be sown by keeping the eye of the bean to face towards the downward direction into the soil. If you are planting the lima beans in multiple rows in your backyard garden, always ensure that you are leaving a space of at least 25 to 35 inches in the middle of the rows so that you will be having easy access and the growth of the beans will also not be restricted.
- The site which is perfect for the plantation of lima beans is the one which is fertile in a moderate way, well-drained and also receives full sun. Always try to choose the soil which is acidic in a slight manner and the pH of the soil should be in between 6 to 6.8.
- The soil which is rich in the content of nitrogen should be avoided for sure and also make sure that you are not using a fertilizer which is being infused with an additional amount of nitrogen. The fertilization which is made with Nitrogen will make the plant to give rise to lush leaves but it will limit the growth of the bean pod.
- If you are unable to find out the pH of the soil present in your backyard, then you can always consider taking a pH test for your soil before you go ahead with the plantation of your lima beans.
- Indeterminate beans will require a trellis or pole for reaching their actual growth potential. Make sure that you are setting a pole or a trellis as soon as you complete the plantation of seeds so that there will not be any risk like damaging the roots which are delicate or sensitive.
- You can take into consideration of setting up the pole which is either made up of wood or metal and is having a length of 5 feet and the diameter of the pole should not be more than 1 inch. The support which you provide should be staked in a secure way into the ground and also adjacent to plant. As the lima bean plant starts growing, you will have to guide the seeking vine in a patient way so that it will start wrapping around the pole which you have set up.
- As soon as the vine has embraced the pole completely, the plant will grow around the support which is provided without any coaxing in the future.
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Care and Maintenance of Lima bean plants:
- Plant care in lima beans gardening is the utmost priority for healthy growth and quality produce.
- The soil has to be maintained damp. But always make sure that you are not making the soil soggy. Always be very careful not to overwater the plants or also do not water the plants in a frequent manner. This will let the lima bean seedlings which are delicate to drown. Always keep in mind that the lima bean plants will need about 1 inch of water on a weekly basis at the time of blossoming and the development stages of the pod. The water has to be poured at the base of the plants. Make sure that you are not watering the lima bean plants over the top. This will lead to diseases and mildew to start developing as these will develop in foliage which is wet in a consistent manner.
- The mulch has to be spread around the base of the lima bean plant for the purpose of conservation of moisture. This will reduce the number of watering you have to offer to the lima bean plant on a daily basis as the development of hot season starts and it should also reduce the number of weeds.
- The watering has to be done in a frequent manner mainly in the heat which is produced at the time of summer season. Seed pods will get dried and there are also chances for them to crack when the climatic conditions become too hot.
- Always make sure that you are inspecting your plants on a regular basis and check if you can find any symptoms of pests on your lima bean plants. If you see that there are any pests on your plant, try to get to know what they are so that you can search for a way to get rid of them as soon as possible. The most common pests on the lima bean plants or any other bean plants are like aphids, spider mites, and flea beetles.
- In a few situations, you can just go ahead and spray water on the pests by making use of a water hose as they fall off from the leaves immediately and you can get rid of them. You should also make use of insecticidal soap for the removal of pests.
Harvesting the Lima beans:
- Let me explain you the Lima bean growth chart for both the bush and pole varieties of Lima beans. The bush varieties of the lima bean plants have to be harvested within two months of plantation and the harvest of the pole beans have to be done within three months of the plantation. The lima bean plant will flower and then the flowers will die eventually giving rise to the appearance of pods. This is the Lima bean plant life cycle. If you are rising the bush beans, the harvest will be coming all at a time. If you are growing the ones which are of pole variety, then you can pull the beans from the vine for one month or two months.
- It is always good to be with patience, but too much patience is also not right. If the beans will get dried out on the plant itself, they will be hard and practically, they cannot be consumed. So, in order to test them, you can tug a seed pod in a gentle manner which looks ready for the harvest. If you see that the bean is coming easily from the vine, then it means that it is ripe and also ready for the harvest. If it sticks to the plant, then it means that it needs some more days to be ready for the harvest.
- Always try to pick out the pods as soon as they are ready for the harvest. Doing this will coax the lima bean plant for the creation of new pods. Once you let a couple of bean pods to get matured overly, this will generally trigger the complete plant to stop blooming and the pods will not be produced.
Storage of Lima beans:
- Harvesting and cooking the Lima beans is very easy. You can start preparing the lima beans for cooking right after the harvest or you can also even dry them out so that they can be stored for the long term. The beans which are picked freshly will be lasting until two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
- You can also go for blanching the beans and then freeze them,. You can then store them in a container which is dry, cool and also airtight. Doing this will help them to last up to 10 months.
That’s all folks about lima beans gardening techniques and ideas. Happy gardening!.
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