Every year we plant lima beans (which we love) and rarely do we get more
than a couple of meals worth. We have a short growing season (most
years June 1 - October 1, but this year 5/15-10/15)) and it is often not
too warm and pretty wet in the summer (but this year hot and dry).
Regardless, the limas do poorly. This year the plants flourished and
looked better than they ever have, often the seeds don't even germinate,
but they blossomed late and did not set properly. Other beans in
adjacent rows did great. We have always planted Fordhook.
Does anybody have any advice? I would kill (well, no not really) to be
able to grow lima beans successfully.
according to some things I have read, limas require more heat and a longer
growing season than other beans. Maybe that is your problem in general.
Unfortunately, beans don't usually transplant well, so I don't know if
starting them early indoors would do any good in your climate.
Try putting black plastic over the garden row a month ahead of time to warm
the soil, and then plant two weeks earlier. I had the same problem here in
upstate NY (zone 5), so I'll be trying this trick next year.
Clear plastic provides more heat to the soil than black plastic.
However, it also lets the weeds grow underneath. I've used a combination
over melons in New England and had good results. Start with the black
plastic. Place hoops of wire with clear plastic over them over the black
plastic. I use a slitted plastic so when I put the plants in there is
some ventilation. The melons like temperatures in the 100's, but not
sure about limas.
I've had good luck transplanting things that "don't like to be
transplanted" by using peat pots. I haven't had much luck with the peat
pellets, but the pots work well.
When the melons [limas] are ready to be planted (3 true leaves or
thereabouts) slide back the clear plastic, punch holes in the black
plastic, make some mud in the hole and press (gently) the peat pot into
the mud. Then put back the clear plastic.
I take the clear plastic off when the plants start to grow out the slits.
This works on melons. I haven't tried it on limas. You can push the
season by two or three weeks.
Tom J wrote:
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