Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Harvesting lima beans

Posted by adrock430 6A (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 14, 11 at 9:03

Hi, this is the first time growing lima beans and it looks like they are quite productive. Just having a hard time deciding how to harvest. Should I wait until the pods get rubbery to harvest, or do you pick as they plump? It's been hard to tell which are big enough. Alternatively, do some just let them dry on the bush? Thanks, Adam


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Depends on whether you prefer them as green shellies or dried limas. For green shellies, shuck out a couple as the pods plump up, Then pick as they reach the size and plumpness you want. Some folks like them half size and ultra tender, others wait until they are full size. Of course if you want dried beans or are saving seeds just let the pods dry on the vine.
cangreen


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Nice looking beans, as always, farnerdill! Are those bush? I read cangreen is bush. Are they pretty easy picking?


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

I pick green limas every 2 days...3 at the most as I love the greener and more tender ones rather than the larger starchier ones. I raise Fordhook 242 bush


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Cangreen is bush, no more difficult to pick than any other bush lima. The smaller the lima , the more difficult to pick, but the major difference in effort is in the shelling. Cangree is average size for a baby lima. Baby limas are much less starchy at all stages than potato limas like Fordhook. Even Baby Fordhooks are less starchy than Fordhooks, while still falling in the potato lima category.
Baby Fordhook


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Planted limas for the first time this year. (Fordhook 242) Mine were slow to grow, and started falling over when they were 6" to 8" tall. Got annoyed with them and just let them go. The plants at the ends of the rows grew up through the fence, and flourished. The directions on the seed packet said nothing about support. We like the larger limas, but are apprehensive about trying them again next year. A lot of work for the few we got, but they sure were good!


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

I just let the plants lean over. Mine have produced pretty well and are still going strong. The early ones are large plants now.

The bush beans have produced far better for me than pole beans which quickly "top" out, but the bush beans are more indeterminate.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

About support for bush lima beans: down here in SC ours seem to be growing much bigger than expected (well... certainly much bigger than they used to up in NJ).

So a little support is helpful, unless the rows are very widely spaced.

But they don't need much support--a bit of netting strung between posts is enough.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Bumping this thread. My first time growing limas, and they're getting ripe to pick now for fresh beans, but getting the pods open is a trial. They don't pop like pea pods, they don't zip open.

I'm beginning to dread the prospect of shelling all those beans.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

You can get pretty good at it.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

HOW?


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

I just press my thumb into the middle of the non-curved side and open it apart.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Don't follow you? Most varieties of lima beans shell easily when full, certainly easier than an English pea, southern pea. or green shellie. There are a few varieties that have a shell that resembles shrink wrap but not many.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

OK, perhaps my difficulties in shelling these things indicate they aren't quite ripe to harvest yet. Although the beans do look ready once I extract a few. I want them as green shellies, not dried beans.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Well, I am reposting how to shell those green limas after picking and shelling some today. Twist the pod and it will open some...pick the beans out. I pick every 2 or 3 days to keep them tender. Nickle sized beans are great in the Fordhook 242.

The first set is near the base and I notice that young one are setting on the top as a second set.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Sorry, I or it made a duplicate.

This post was edited by wayne_5 on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 12:42


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

Some lima varieties are much easier to shell if you cut a narrow strip of the curved edge of the pod away with a sharp knife.

Don't eat limas raw. Like many legumes, they have toxic properties when raw.


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

These Jackson Wonders are more like dime sized, which I think they're supposed to be. I'll go out tomorrow and see if I can extract any,


 o
RE: Harvesting lima beans

So these are the limas. I'd rather have them on the smaller side, as baby limas, but it's a lot easier to shell them when they've grown larger.

Still have to say they're harder to shell than peas.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Vegetable Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here