what legumes suggest in our garden?

kabutiJuly 5, 2007

Hi, Have been interested this year in growing various types of beans, peas, peanuts, crowder peas, yrd-long etc as well as a little alfalfa & some fava. Still have space for more. The fava, btw, are doing well as shade for the tomatoes, a totally accidental discovery as they were meant to be used as fertilizer & mulch & are still alive althought it is up to 109deg here this week. Well we'll see. I use these beans etc to put N into the soil as well as provde 'dry matter' for compost & mulch in addition to having a crop available all season. I am not tilling anymore, actually just 'mixing' compost & 'organic' fert. into top couple inches of initially, double-dug, 3ft wide beds. We are in an arid climate & sandy-loam, well drained, too well drained, soil. Do you have any suggestions as to what legumes we should be experimenting with in the future? These things really fascinate me. We also have several leguminous trees around here & almost everything will grow here. Thanks!

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Yardlongs, certainly. Also adzuki beans. You could grow any variety of lima or cowpea under the sun - and there are a lot to choose from. Winged beans might do well if you are near the coast, but perhaps not so well inland. Jicama, which is a legume with poisonous beans & an edible root - but it takes many months to produce (a waste of space, IMHO). Peanuts, certainly. Tepary beans thrive in your climate. Hyacinth beans need a long season, but of course that poses no problem for California - and they love heat. Snap beans in Spring & Fall. Then, there are peas & favas in the winter, and crimson clover as a Winter cover crop (I grew all three together as green manure when I lived in San Diego).

The point is, you can take your pick. Take advantage of your climate! Now ask me about cucurbits... ;-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 2:05AM
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