A few Lima questions
I have planted a raised bed 6'x4' with Fordhook limas (with one row of King of the Garden at the end up a trellis.) I've had no trouble producing flowers on the plants. And I even have some pods. But I'm a little disappointed in the number of pods I'm getting in comparison to the number of flowers. (1) Is there anything I can do to improve pollenation rates? I tried running my hands over them or shaking the way I do tomatoes, but that seemed to cause the blooms to fall off. Maybe those blooms were about to fall anyway. (I didn't shake too hard or anything.) (2) Is shaking gently advisable? Due to the small number of pods forming, I'm thinking that if I want enough to eat, I'll have to plant at least twice as many next year. (3) Should 4x6 (6 per sq ft) be enough for a couple of harvests to feed 2-3 people?
The pods I do have are now about the right size for picking, but the limas inside (which can be seen when held up to the sun) are still small and flat.) (4) Should I give them extra water? Fertilizer? What can I do to encourage plumping? Last year I waited for plumping until the pods dried up and it never happened. Then the plant stopped producing because the beans had dried on the vine.
Thanks in advance! I really want some good limas this year.