Wing Bean

mauirose(11)May 27, 2009

Yay! After doing nothing but flower for the past couple of months Wing beans are finally starting to produce! The flowers are pretty and taste good in salads but i've really been looking forward to the beans.

i read that they can be picked at 3" long. Pretty skinny still yet at 3" tho'. Usually i see them at the market about 6-8" long and maybe 1/2" around. What size do you pick your wing beans at?

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mauirose(11)

Well i have answered my own question. At three inches there is almost no 'bean' there, just some fluffy 'wings'. The longer size seems like the best size for harvest.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 4:07AM
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nonikiyu(7/8)

Maui,
The wife says the market sizes are about right. I'd think on the short end. Like to hear about what you find is best, just in case I ever get any to grow. IhopeIhope.
Been trying for years to get a decent crop with little luck but forgot a tray of seed in starter soil outside in brutal sun yesterday and 4 stuck their heads up by the end of the day. Looks like high heat is the ingredient I've been missing so if I get a few more up I'm tearing out my late start Kentucky Wonders and giving them a home there. Did you do anything special other than scrapping and soaking the seed? Any suggestions for growing ....... outside of moving to Hawaii?

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 1:37PM
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featherhoof(zone 9)

Move to Florida! My purple yard long are producing, but the wined beans have not even flowered. Lots of foliage, though.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 9:45PM
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mauirose(11)

nonikiyu-yes, i scraped and soaked before planting. i've heard that they are day length sensitive which means i think, in most zones, by the time the days get short enough the frost hits. Echo and Thompson and Morgan sell wing bean seeds that are supposed to be day neutral, you might try one or both of them and see how it goes. i think there is a gardener who has tried them in zone 5 and sometimes gets a few beans. He starts his inside and transplants out. Sounds tricky.

i've wondered why i don't see them in the stores much. They seem to be very perishable once picked which could be the reason. i am looking forward to seeing how long the vines will bear for.

featherhoof- i hear the leaves can be eaten as well tho' i haven't tried it. My 'Stickless Wonder' long beans have the first tiny little beans showing!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:30AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

It's not likely that winged beans will be widely sold. Besides the issues of DTM & perishability, they are not widely known outside of Asian & tropical cultures, and are not very high-yielding. The seed is not the easiest thing to find either, only a handful of companies offer it, and few seed savers can grow it successfully below Zone 8.

I've grown winged bean here from transplants; mine are waiting to get in the ground now (ground too wet). As Mauirose mentioned, they are not very productive here... I'm lucky if I get to pick pods for 2-3 weeks. Still, it gives the wife & her friends a taste of home. Nonikiyu, if your Zone 7/8 is anything other than Pacific Maritime, you should have better luck. Me, I just hope the leaves prove to be good - "edible" does not necessarily mean "palatable".

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 11:28PM
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ydur07

I grow wing beans myself on a 30' long CRW wire trellis , but they are more productive during the months of Sept/Oct in Zone 9, I have some early volunteers that are now blooming and I pick 6 of them yesterday, they are very expensive on Asian markets ($2.50/lb), once they start producing they are just like Yard long beans that you have to pick them everyday, I love this stuff steam and some viginerette or stir fry.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 11:43AM
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nonikiyu(7/8)

Maui - Zeedman coached me through a bit of Bean 101 and I think I am off in the right direction now. He suggested Hunan as a day neutral variety and I will arm myself with a packet before I do battle in my bean patch next spring. My latest batch of seed (third source) was from Indonesia so I am not sure how they will produce here but with 9 out of 12 seeds germinating (best ever for me) I have transplanted planted 7 of them to my garden. I'm happy.
The wife used them extensively in salads or stir fried them w/garlic, onion, ginger & her mom used to add miso and on occasion tofu. The summer watching these babies grow will be torture.
I should at least get good foliage and found some winged bean leaf & pod recipes on the ECHO site from Sri Lanka to try.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:31AM
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mauirose(11)

noni that is great news! With Mr. Zeedman in your corner you should definitely see some success. i hope you will update this post with your progress. Where is the Hunan seed sold?

ydur-you are growing 30' of wing bean?? Wow! What spacing do you use? How high is your trellis? What will you do with your harvest?

i just sliced some into a stir-fry last night and they were Delicious!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2009 at 11:43PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

You guys & gals are too kind. I'm almost speechless. :-)

Ydur07, that is a large planting of winged bean! Your mention of harvesting in September/October is consistent with the daylength-sensitivity of most winged beans; days are close to 12 hours long at that point. However, the fact that you are picking any right now is interesting. You may have a mutation that is less sensitive. I would recommend saving some of those first pods for seed; it's possible that this could lead to an earlier crop next year. Saving a pod or two per plant should not slow production.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 6:01PM
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ydur07

mauirose> my trellis is made of CRW wire mesh nailed on 8ft landscape timbers post dug down 2.5 ft ,8' apart , 5' high and 30 ft long, I put 3-4 wing bean seeds every 12" ,if I harvest a lot mostly share with family members and friends.

Zeedman> Yes I do save a lot of pod for seeds for the next following season.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 8:45AM
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nonikiyu(7/8)

Maui,
Zeedman has been a great help and is a wonderful resource to have here.
The sites he gave me were Bakers Seeds and ECHO, though neither list them as Hunan. ECHO lists theirs as "day neutral", is where he buys his and will be my source from here on. I've tried winged beans from Evergreen with little germination success, some others from family in the western Pacific with marginal results and this latest batch from Kuala Lumpur which has had good germination rates. I also seem to have misplaced a package of Goa Winged beans from Katazawa Seeds but if they turn up soon I'll give them a late start just to note differences.
ECHO mentioned this article about the "hunan" bean http://www.motherearthnews.com/Real-Food/2007-06-01/Hunan-Winged-Bean.aspx
My problems are mostly self inflicted so I have a lot of study to do to get up to speed.....and make some sort of germinator to get control of the heat.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:44PM
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mauirose(11)

i pulled this thread up to see what time my wing beans finally started to produce beans last year since i am experiencing the same problem again-lots of buds and flowers but no bean set.

Last year i grew Echo seeds and this year some from Baker's Creek. i thought the Echo vines were small last year because of a poor location but this year the BC vines look just the same! Lucky i also grew seeds collected from a local garden that are really nice and vigorous. Maybe next year i will compare the Kitazawa seeds.

i found out that the beans can be stored for a few days at room temperature in a roomy plastic bag. Refrigeration can cause premature browning and spoilage.

i dug the roots from last year's beans so i will get to try them roasted soon!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 2:58PM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

I am in Martin County, South Florida. A local guy gave me a dried seed pod last winter. Planted 2 and 1 survived. It climbed all over an orange tree and now is jumping to a nearby palm, probably 30' tall at this point, and branching out all over.

I kept waiting for something to happen other than leaves and vines. I had read that it was daylight sensitive, and around mid-september I thought to myself, "this thing will starting blooming at the fall equinox." Sure enough, on the equinox itself I noticed the first blossoms (lovely delicate purple - blue!)

Yesterday I harvested and ate my first winged beans. Delish! There are plenty of beans on the way and plenty more blossoms. We hardly ever get a frost here, so we'll see how long this harvest goes.

Is everyone cultivating these as annuals? What happens if you let it go perennial?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 11:00AM
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browndirt(9b)

Hey, I'm a west central Florida gardener
and I'm trying to get Asian winged beans in a
trade. Anyone got extras. I need to get them in
the ground soon. I am going to the store- I can
buy garden seeds for a trade.
let me know on this thanks,
John H.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 2:42PM
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