lima beans

ljagrowsApril 12, 2010

I planted King of the Garden lima beans last year and I got beautiful vines that would have reached the moon if possible. They spread thru my corn, planted next to it, everywhere. But I did not have any beans. What beans did come were small and never matured. What did I do wrong?

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anney(Georgia 8)

Enough nitrogen fertilizer for corn = too much nitrogen fertilizer for limas.

When limas and other legumes are nitrogen-fertilized as you'd do for corn, they'll grow enthusiastically and hugely but just won't produce any beans!

It's probably a good idea to plant them separately and give the corn the fertilizer it needs and fertilize the limas very little.

Garden Lima Beans has this to say: Beans grow best in fertile soils. In marginal or average soils, band 1.5 pounds of balanced all-purpose fertilizer (20-20-20) for every 100 feet of row when planting. Place two inches to the side and two inches below the seed so that it does not damage the seed.

Avoid adding further nitrogen because beans and other legumes have nitrogen fixing nodules on their roots and fix their own once established. Excess nitrogen delays flowering and encourage excess vine growth.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:05PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I agree with Anney's comments; excess N would be the most likely explanation for excessive foliage, late blooming, and minimal pod set.

Additionally, 2009 was an exceptionally cool summer for those in the Northern states, so warm-weather crops did very poorly. I planted KOG from transplants last year, and got just an OK harvest, with perhaps 30% of the pods reaching maturity before frost. Had I direct seeded, I doubt that any beans would have matured.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 12:30PM
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Last year was my worst year ever for those Lima's, and they're my favorite bean. If it's not gonna rain right after I plant them, I soak the seeds for a few hours before I plant them. Give's 'em a little jump start.

I'm pretty careful at rotating my gardens so the beans do their natural nitrogen injection for whatever I plant in that space, the next year.

I haven't had to add fertilizer in any of my gardens in over 10 years. WOO-HOO! This year may be the year...time will tell.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 10:07PM
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