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Lima Bean Failure

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Lima Bean Failure

Post  Mic on 9/2/2012, 5:31 pm

This year I decided to grow some Lima beans because they are getting so expensive in the store. I planted them 9 per square as it suggests and planted 16 squares for a total of 144 plants. Not all of them came up, but most did. I kept them watered well through the year and have pretty good soil in the bed.

Here I am in early September and I don't have a single bean pod on any of the plants, not one! It doesn't look like anything came and ate them, usually you can see where something chews stuff off, but that doesn't appear to be the case. I had something eat a few little holes in the leaves, but again, nothing too serious.

Someone suggested I over fertilized with a nitrogen based fertilizer, but I didn't use any fertilizer. I just put in some manure (aged and in bags) and some organic material (leaves and such) before the season started, but my tomatoes in the same bed did pretty good and they should have also done bad if too much nitrogen was the problem.

I am baffled, I don't know what I did wrong that out of so many plants I didn't get a single bean pod. Any suggestions on what I did wrong would very much appreciated. Thanks!
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  camprn on 9/2/2012, 5:40 pm

Did they flower yet? When did you plant them? according to Folia they are very long growing, greater than 150 days. What variety did you plant?


Last edited by camprn on 9/2/2012, 5:45 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added link)

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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  Lindacol on 9/2/2012, 5:59 pm

@camprn wrote:Did they flower yet? When did you plant them? according to Folia they are very long growing, greater than 150 days. What variety did you plant?



Quote from the above link to Folia:

A vigorous climbing tropical lima bean, which will last for many years in the ground. It is excellent at coping with wet, humid conditions. There is usually little pod production in the first year but it is prolific after that. It is tolerant of a wide variety of soil types.
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  camprn on 9/2/2012, 6:01 pm

@Lindacol wrote:
@camprn wrote:Did they flower yet? When did you plant them? according to Folia they are very long growing, greater than 150 days. What variety did you plant?



Quote from the above link to Folia:

A vigorous climbing tropical lima bean, which will last for many years in the ground. It is excellent at coping with wet, humid conditions. There is usually little pod production in the first year but it is prolific after that. It is tolerant of a wide variety of soil types.
Yeah, isn't that interesting? That was of course specific to that variety but I have no idea what variety the OP planted and if the conditions would be the same.


Last edited by camprn on 9/2/2012, 6:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correcting typos per usual)

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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  sceleste54 on 9/2/2012, 6:47 pm

I never heard of a Lima Bean that would last more than one season, but I've had the same problem with pole beans planted this year. My vines have grown and spread well beyond my trellis and stayed that way for a good 3 months before I ever got a blossom. I planted Rattlesnake Beans and Chinese Long Beans in the spring and I am just now getting just a few beans. I think it has to do with the wacky weather changes.

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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  littlejo on 9/2/2012, 10:39 pm

I've never heard of lima's as a carry over plant, but it'd have to be kept from freezing. My lima's, maybe put on 1 small pot full, then no more. Plants are still very green and looks nice. No blooms!
Pole beans are green, overtaking the trellis. I went out today and they are fineally blooming!

I believe the weather, temp up and down, wet and dry, hot days and cool nights, we've been in the 60''s for a lot of nights this summer, has took it's toll.
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  Mic on 9/3/2012, 12:16 pm

I planted a variety that is a bush bean, not a vine. The variety was called White Fork. The grow time was 65 days and it has been well over that now. I planted them about May 15th or so. It has been 80 - 90 days so far. I never saw any flowers or blooms on them, just little nubs where something was trying to grow and never seemed to make it.

The plants are actually starting to turn a little yellow now, which my mom says is a sign they are starting to die back. I am not sure, but definitely don't have a single bean on any of them. Just not sure what I did wrong.
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  camprn on 9/3/2012, 1:12 pm

Mic, where did you buy these beans from? do the go under another name, by any chance? I turn up nothing on the web for that variety and now I am very curious.


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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  Mic on 9/4/2012, 12:57 pm

Oops, messed up my bean names. The ones I planted are from Burpee's Signature line. They are called Lima Bean Fordhook No. 242. It says to plant them with full sun (they were) and that they should mature in 65 days. I followed the directions perfectly as far as I can tell. They are also brand new seeds from this year, not old ones so even that shouldn't be an issue.

Kind of a bummer that not one bean came out of all these plants. I am hesitant to try these again next year given the dismal performance this year.
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  cheyannarach on 9/4/2012, 1:16 pm

On the bright side lima beans are gross Razz , Sorry couldn't resist. Hope you get it figured out for next year!
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  camprn on 9/4/2012, 5:09 pm

@Mic wrote:Oops, messed up my bean names. The ones I planted are from Burpee's Signature line. They are called Lima Bean Fordhook No. 242. It says to plant them with full sun (they were) and that they should mature in 65 days. I followed the directions perfectly as far as I can tell. They are also brand new seeds from this year, not old ones so even that shouldn't be an issue.

Kind of a bummer that not one bean came out of all these plants. I am hesitant to try these again next year given the dismal performance this year.
Mic, maybe with the weather cooling a bit and if watering is consistent they may yet bloom. Don't give up the ship yet! All my beans bloomed late as well.
I love lima/butter beans!
http://myfolia.com/plants/1917-lima-bean-phaseolus-lunatus/varieties/8815-fordhook-242

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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  Windsor.Parker on 9/4/2012, 6:00 pm

@camprn wrote:Mic, maybe with the weather cooling a bit and if watering is consistent they may yet bloom. Don't give up the ship yet! All my beans bloomed late as well.
I love lima/butter beans!
I echo camprn's comments.
We planted Yard Long, Italian Snap, Scarlet Emperor, Aztec Half-Runner, and Gethsemane Lima.
They all were slow to flower and to fruit. No

The Yard Long and Italian Snap produced first but VERY sparsely.
The Lima of Gethsemane produced next but also light. The Emperor and Aztec are finally producing a moderate volume.
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  littlejo on 9/4/2012, 7:09 pm

I used to dislike lima beans, but my mom was from the north, and cooked from a can. Since I moved to SC, I learned that no one here eats 'lima beans', but a big pot of butter beans with rice, a bit of pork for flavor,yum.
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Re: Lima Bean Failure

Post  Mic on 9/5/2012, 11:52 am

I plan on leaving them in the ground until the first frost comes. I am generally late at cleaning up my garden waiting all the way until the frost comes. I figure I might as well squeeze every last veggie off of those plants.

We will see. Thanks for the thoughts on this.
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