I hate Lima Beans

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JRinPA
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I hate Lima Beans

#1

Post: # 44549Unread post JRinPA
Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:12 pm

What the...I bought Lima Beans to grow this year. Fordhook 242. The bag is 5lb at 449 seeds/lb, treated with CAPTAN. I expect the bag to last a while...the farm supply price was about the same as 4 packs of seed from a regular store.

I have been picking lima beans out of frozen mixed vegetables for years, but someone at my comm garden told me how great lima beans are if you grow your own. So I guess I'm in for this year at least.

What is the best way to grow them? I assume these are a bush. How much spacing, when do I plant, etc. Do you pick these once and done? Can you eat the shell like fresh green beans? About the only lima beans I like are baked limas, barbecue style.
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GoDawgs
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#2

Post: # 44566Unread post GoDawgs
Sat Apr 10, 2021 5:55 am

There are both bush and pole limas but what you have is a bush type. The first search result I found was:
https://www.gurneys.com/product/fordhook_242_lima_beans_

You grow them pretty much like any other bush bean. Pretty much one and done although the climbing types keep putting out up the vine. The shell is tough and leathery when green and you wait until you see the beans bulging somewhat in the green pod if you're picking fresh limas. Sometimes you have to just open a few until you get the feel for what's mature and what's not. They can fool you; what you think is ready really isn't when you open it. There's a thin line between a fully mature lima and one that's past prime and starting to get a bit tough. Dried lima pods are brown and brittle so they pop open easily at that stage.

I've not had much luck down here with bush limas. They set lots of pods but don't fill out. However my "last chance" effort was trying a pole variety called Alabama Blackeye Butterbean and had moderate success. Boy, they were good! I love fresh limas. Sooo much better than canned. I don't grow them every year; just when I get the urge to do so. This year that big trellis will be used for other things but I have seed saved for the next time I want to grow them.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#3

Post: # 44568Unread post karstopography
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:33 am

I grew Christmas lima beans last year, an heirloom pole type. They did okay, but not anything like mind blowing production. I got about a gallon or so of shelled beans on 7-8 feet of trellised space, but it is in the very worst area of my garden, too close to a water oak tree with tree root incursions and too much shade. They shared a trellis with Emerite filet beans, but we like those better than lima beans. I didn’t grow any lima beans this year, growing a lot more regular pole beans instead.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#4

Post: # 44569Unread post brownrexx
Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:55 am

I grow Henderson's Baby Lima beans because I do not like the big, starchy ones but we think that the baby ones are delicious.

I plant 3 rows all at once and once they start producing, they produce continually until frost for me.

I don't think that you can eat them without shelling, the pods are fairly tough but I have never tried it.

If you have not liked Lima Beans in the past and you bought Fordhooks, they will probably be the same kind that you get in frozen mixtures so I would suggest picking them very young so that they beans will not get as big and starchy.

I boil mine lightly and then serve with butter or boil lightly and then sauté in butter with corn and fresh herbs, usually parsley but chives are good too.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#5

Post: # 44588Unread post worth1
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:40 am

I like the dried lima beans can't stand any other type.
Preferably with ham hock.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#6

Post: # 44602Unread post Tormato
Sat Apr 10, 2021 12:00 pm

I grow pole limas with 14" - 16" spacing, bush with 10"-12" spacing, which is considerably wider than common beans.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#7

Post: # 44978Unread post JRinPA
Fri Apr 16, 2021 12:08 am

Well I guess I'll see how they do. Me growing limas is proof I can get talked into growing anything once. A few years back it was tomatillos, everyone made them sound so good. They grew like heck but after a few rounds of salsa verde, I hit diminishing returns, and haven't grown any since.

Sounds like limas take more space, but otherwise similar to other bush bean growth. Do bean beetles bother these things? I figure maybe they'll have better taste and go for the pole beans.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#8

Post: # 44994Unread post GoDawgs
Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:35 am

@Tormato , how did you come to use such a wide spacing on your bush limas? Experimenting or maybe something you read perhaps? You've got me thinking that maybe I erred in planting them like regular bush beans. Planting in a bed would be less worky than putting up the trellis for the pole type, etc so if spacing has been the problem, I'm willing to try again.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#9

Post: # 44997Unread post brownrexx
Fri Apr 16, 2021 8:27 am

I grow my bush Limas with the same spacing as my regular green beans. The Limas do put out some tendrils but they don't get too long and don't need staking or a trellis.

I have never seen any bean beetles on the Limas @JRinPA
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JRinPA
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#10

Post: # 45007Unread post JRinPA
Fri Apr 16, 2021 2:24 pm

If the bean beetles don't bother them, that would allow me some flexibility to plant them later into the season when the bean beetles are rampant.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#11

Post: # 45230Unread post Amateurinawe
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:07 am

It's national lima bean respect day tommorrow.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#12

Post: # 45251Unread post ponyexpress
Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:09 pm

Has anyone grown Big Mama Lima Beans? I did one year and thought they were pretty good.
https://www.reimerseeds.com/big-mama-lima-beans.aspx
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#13

Post: # 45259Unread post PlainJane
Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:02 pm

I’ve tried bush and pole types, fresh and dried, and I just can’t get hooked. Much prefer fava beans, or regular shelly beans.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#14

Post: # 45274Unread post worth1
Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:29 pm

PlainJane wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:02 pm
I’ve tried bush and pole types, fresh and dried, and I just can’t get hooked. Much prefer fava beans, or regular shelly beans.
I cooked Fava beans once and they had the strangest taste.
Much prefer dried lima beans even plain with no ham hock or bacon.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#15

Post: # 47833Unread post JRinPA
Mon May 31, 2021 6:02 pm

Well, they are finally going in. I think I'll put them all in once. I've never been good at succession planting other than corn. I will put them about 18" between rows, basically edge to edge on the beds in a double row. Not sure about the spacing in row. Tormato said 10"-12" above. That Gurney's page says 3-6" in row and 24" between rows. My pole beans will be next to each bush lima row. I'll put a pic up in a bit.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#16

Post: # 47839Unread post JRinPA
Mon May 31, 2021 8:49 pm

I didn't get a pic but I got them all in. I had to go single row, so I went about 5" spacing in row. The pole beans already sort of make it a double row. The last bed doesn't have the pole beans so I put in a row of red beets as well. I'll say one thing for limas, they are easy to plant.
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June 1 - watered in

#17

Post: # 47890Unread post JRinPA
Tue Jun 01, 2021 2:15 pm

Planted yesterday, watered them in, again today. With the backyard patch I'm much more likely to keep seeds moist. Basically I have 3 single rows of limas, with three rows of pole beans. The tapes are splitting the difference. The rightmost row is the beets and 4th limas. I will have drip tape set up right off the spigot. This will be using drip tape and garden hoses without a header line, and will water summer squash bed, potato/corn bed, twin asparagus beds, and the garden. My other side of the backyard uses hose to a short header line and then 6mm tap to tape for six drip tapes on the 20ft and 30ft raised beds.

This will be awesome to be able to water mostly everything at the house by drip. I even have a wifi controller I could put inline for automating it...if I trust it. It was a lowe's clearance thing, Something like $8 instead of $60.

The poles were put in using a bulb planter and tamped a bit. They seem okay now, but we'll see. They're sort of wind protected and not that tall, plus the bases are down so they aren't top heavy at present. I had a 1/2" grid fence around this for the last 3 seasons but it didn't help any against voles (not buried) so I pulled it. Now the patch is exposed to bunnies and July and August will bring groundhogs that Mom ran off... Let them eat Lima's, I say!
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#18

Post: # 47900Unread post Tormato
Tue Jun 01, 2021 5:24 pm

GoDawgs wrote:
Fri Apr 16, 2021 7:35 am
@Tormato , how did you come to use such a wide spacing on your bush limas? Experimenting or maybe something you read perhaps? You've got me thinking that maybe I erred in planting them like regular bush beans. Planting in a bed would be less worky than putting up the trellis for the pole type, etc so if spacing has been the problem, I'm willing to try again.
I came up with that spacing from initially doing research, and then also getting advice from a few southern (Alabama and Georgia) gardeners. Myself, I've never experimented with different spacing. I've only grown limas to restock and trade mostly "rarer" varieties, never for growing large quantities for table use.
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Re: I hate Lima Beans

#19

Post: # 48951Unread post JRinPA
Sun Jun 20, 2021 11:58 am

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Some progress in the garden. They came up fast and then sort of stalled when it got dry again and I didn't water. The only ones that got nipped so far were the far right row. Not eaten, just sliced off and left there. I replanted a handful of seed in the gaps but they are slow coming on now. I still need to get the drip set up.

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