Lima beans, also known as “butter beans” are quite easy to harvest and grow if you have the correct information and follow these simple tips. Before we proceed to explain how to grow lima beans, let we first share with you few facts about lima beans. Those who have tasted lima beans know how tasty and nutritious they are. These beans can be used in variety of dishes and have some extra-ordinary nutritional values. Fresh lima beans are often difficult to find but you can always get canned lima beans throughout the year min most departmental stores.
The average size of the pod of lima bean in about 3 inches and is flat, oblong and slightly curved. The pod has 2 to 4 seeds. These seeds are called lima beans. The seeds are normally green or cream in color. Few other varieties and color including red, purple, white and black are also available.
When to grow and harvest lima beans?
As with other beans, butter/lima beans are easy to grow. A weather condition is a deciding factor when to harvest lima beans. There are different varieties of lima beans and different verities demand different weather conditions. Most common lima beans grow best at temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees F. Summer is the best time to grow them. You can harvest your beans when the pods are bright green in color and well-filled. It may take 2 to 3 months to make a crop.
Following are the steps to follow to grow lima beans:
– Prepare the soil: The crop demands that you plant seeds at least 1 to 1.5 inches deep into the soil. Prepare the soil accordingly. Organic gardening is always good. Use compost to fertilize the soil. Keep a distance of about 1.5 to 2 feet between rows.
– Sow the seeds: Maintain a gap of about 2 to 3 inches between seeds.
– Build support for the plants: Lima bean plants need support or they will run all over the ground. Use poles, wire mesh, string and pegs to provide support.
– Cultivate lima bean plants: Watering the plants must be done on weekly basis. Water the roots at ground level in the morning. It is very important to water the crop when germination starts and pods are developing. Lack of watering will damage the crop. Flowers will drop prematurely and you won’t get many pods.
– Harvesting lima beans: It may take 2 to 3 months to make a crop. You can harvest your beans when the pods are bright green in color and well-filled.
Nutritional and health benefits of lima beans
Limas/butter beans are fleshy enough to stand in for meat on the menu. These beans are delicious steamed and drenched in butter and salt. Lima beans have some very good nutritional ingredients and offer great health benefits. These beans are rich in fiber that helps to lower cholesterol level in human body. These beans are also good source of fiber that control sugar in blood and hence they are good for people suffering from diabetes and hypoglycemia. These beans are also rich in protein. Apart from these benefits, lima beans also has several other extra-ordinary nutritional values and offer great health benefits.