Bush lima bean question

lowraineJune 12, 2009

This is my first year growing a garden and I find that my bush lima bean has runners. Are these runners enough that I could stake them?

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I guess no one else has runners on their bush lima beans. Well I will just watch mine and if the runners get long enough for a pole I dig a hole.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 9:43PM
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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

I've never grown lima beans. Interesting concept. My dad love them. Maybe I'll grow them next year for him.

If it has runners then go ahead and steak them. Can't hurt. Gpod luck!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 2:41AM
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fanfortony(7 Frederick, MD)

Lowraine, I've grown limas for a few years now. I've never had to stake them. They grow very much like a regular bush bean. They do get tangled up sometimes, but nothing to worry about. The beans will grow on those "runners". Be patient though, they take forever. (And, congrats on your beans, I've planted seeds 4 times already this year and none have come up! I give up! We've had just TOO much rain. Maybe next year....)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Let me explain, I grew up in the state of North Carolina and every garden in our town had running pole lima beans, better known as butterbeans. A piece of ham or a half a stick of butter and you had a meal, every family reunion or church revival wasn't complete until the butterbeans found their way to the table. With that said, I urge everyone to give them a try. I never heard of bush lima beans until I became a sfg person and joined this site. My question concerned my "bush lima beans", they have small runners on them. Glad to hear that the running beans will take a long time going up the string. The garden is fun and I am learning just what will do well and what will not. My tomatoes are slow to fill out with fruit, guess that will take time as well. Lorraine

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 4:34PM
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Butter beans are my reason for gardening! I've never found any in the grocery store that compared in any way with what we grew in the home garden when I was young. Henderson and Early Thorogreen are my favorites and the bush types do put out some runners, but not enough to need trellising or staking. Right now mine are in a square foot garden and they've gotten all tangled up with a Knockout Rose next to it, but I'll prune the rose back in order to get to the beans. Roses are a dime a dozen in comparison to good butter beans!


    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:34AM
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Violet_Skies_(5b S.Central WI)

I planted sieva (sp) runner limas a couple of weeks ago, and only one has germinated. They are direct seeded and the weather has not been overly wet....does anyone know how long they take to germinate? My yard long beans planted the same day are already six inches tall...thanks

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 12:57PM
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Sorry Violet, this is my first year at gardening but I will ask if you soaked your beans before you planted them? That should give you an early start for germination. I saw that information in Mel's book as well as on the package of beans. BTW, you can't find a running lima bean in our area now, they are all sold out.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:37PM
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susancol(7 Atlanta)

I know what you mean, Lowraine. I have the same quandry with bush limas and bush peas as well. People say you don't have to stake them, and you don't, but they sure do wind up a tangled mess. And then it's hard to find the beans without disturbing the plants. And I'm afraid that the blooms will be shaded out by the tangle. This year I experimented and left the hoops up from where I had the hoophouses up over the raised bed in the cold weather. No cover, just the PVC hoops. The beans have grabbed the hoops some but the plants in the center of the bed tangled before they were tall enough to reach the hoops. So next time I'm going to try dangling lines of Jute string down from the hoops for the beans to grab onto. My final idea, if those don't pan out is to install several of those wire tomato cages in the center of the bean patch for them to grow up on.

My theory being that if I can prevent the tangle, I'll be better able to find all of the beans and keep them picked so my harvest doesn't end prematurely.

I also read somewhere that for bush beans 4" spacing is good, so that's what I used, but later it was suggested by experienced folk on these forums, that for large seed limas, like the fordhook's I planted, it may be better to go wtih 6" spacing. So I'm going to try that next round as well.

These are my trials and errors. Hope it helps you to know you're not alone in asking these questions.

Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 2:43PM
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thanks susan

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 10:09PM
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we bought some limas and didnt remember the variety. we called store and we think it is a fordhook. it has 2ft runners and we planted them first of june. our state half runners, derby bush beans, california black eyes and these limas we think are fordhooks all came up in 4 days. i think i'll try the dangling string technique on the limas forgot about that trick. good luck to everyone!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 9:12AM
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