A question/comments about Pole Limas.

denninmi(8a)September 28, 2008

I grew pole limas for the first time ever this year -- 'Large Speckled Pole' and 'King of the Garden' -- they did really quite well, actually better than I thought.

A couple of things, though -- first of all, they started developing pods back in July, but I never harvested them, because I felt the pods, and they never seemed to fill out, stayed quite flat. I THOUGHT that they were duds, due to either our cool weather, or the fact that it had quit raining and was getting quite dry.

Well, much to my surprise, much after the fact, here around Labor Day, I opened a couple of the now-brown pods, to discover that they did, indeed, contain beans, now dried. I have since learned that these beans are much FLATTER than the plump, Henderson Bush limas I'm used to.

Now, in September, we had a dramatic amount or rain, a couple of storms with 2 inches each time, and about 8 inches in 2 days from the remnants of Hurricanes Lowell and Ike. Other beans in the garden rotted in the pods. NOT these limas -- the pods seem very sturdy, with a thick vellum layer, and they have stayed in very good shape. I'm harvesting them a couple of small buckets at a time, as my schedule allows, and shelling them out. So far, I've gotten a total of 9.6 lbs of dried beans from my about sixty foot double row. I'm almost done harvesting them, only a few more to go.

So, my questions are -- is this standard operating procedure with these beans to last so well in the pods, or did I somehow just get lucky? And, is the yield I've gotten pretty good -- It is about 2.5 one gallon Ziploc bags of dried beans?

Most of the other types of beans which I didn't harvest, including the Henderson Bush Lima, had a lot of mold on the pods, and many of the beans inside were ruined?

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jimster(z7a MA)

Coincidentally, I ate King of the Garden limas tonight for the first time. They were delicious!

I don't have a lot of information which will help you. I was a little late in planting. The pods formed quite some time ago. The pods were thick and hard, which is no doubt the reason your beans remained in good condition for a long time. My pods took a long time to fill out. A good many have not filled out yet. I picked the ones which showed distinct thickening of the seeds. The pods were still green.

King of the Garden was a vigorous grower. The yield has been small though. I think this is due to late planting and the fact that it was on an interior row which received less sun. I expect to grow King of the Garden again because it is such good eating.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 12:25AM
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That is normal for Calico and King of the Garden. You are getting an outstanding yield for being so far north. They do have very tough pods that hold up better than the small podded limas. I don't care much for the eating qualities of either of them, but they are dependable and eyecatching. The Calico/Christmas/Giant Speckled Pole is usually the more vigorous of the two.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 8:36AM
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Crikey -- I haven't eaten any of them yet, except one or two of the more greenish ones raw as I shelled them.

Are you saying they're yucky? What's up with them -- flavor bad, texture mealy?

Since they're dried, I figured I'd use them for soups, cooked with ham and sprinkled with onion, that sort of thing.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 9:19PM
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Matter of personal preference. I have not found any large seeded lima that I like, but there are those that prefer them. On the other hand I love the small seeded limas (butterbeans) either green shell or dry. Usually grow Sieva and/or Willow Leaf (pole) and Thorogreen, Woods Prolific, or Green Seeded Henderson (bush)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 9:04AM
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