Gardening 101, Lima Beans, How To Grow Them And How To Cook Them
How To Grow Lima Beans
In case you don't know all beans, Lima beans, and baby Lima beans ( called butter beans ) belong to the highly nutritious legume family and besides being really good for you limas have a nut like flavor and they are really fairly easy to grow.
You will find though that they will need a long warm summer to mature and it is for this reason that they are usually grown only in warmer parts of the United States. They usually grow very well in most parts of the deep south.
You can grow Lima beans as either bush beans or a pole beans. You will find that you can grow a lot more pole beans in a smaller space than bush beans but know that your pole beans are going to take longer to mature than the bush variety of beans.
It will take your pole beans about three full months to mature and produce while your bush beans will mature about two weeks quicker.
How To Grow Your Lima Beans
When you are preparing your soil to plant your Lima beans you will want to fertilize your soil with a good quality 5 - 10 - 5 fertilizer mixture. Keep in mind that you want to plant your Lima bean seeds about the same time that you plant other warmth loving plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. You will want to plant your bush Lima beans about 1one to one and a half inches deep and you will want to space your bean seeds about 3-4 inches apart and you want to plant them in rows far enough apart that your garden tiller can go down the middles of the rows.
If your going to be growing Lima pole beans your going to need some sturdy supports to grow your pole Lima beans on because the Pole Lima Beans are a lot heavier than normal bush beans. Pole Lima Beans will grow 8 to 10 foot high compared with 4 to 6 foot for bush Lima beans.
You can put wire netting up on wooden poles and put your Pole Lima Beans up on the wire netting and you'll end up with a huge harvest of Pole Lima Beans. If you are growing Pole Lima Beans be sure to allow plenty of room to allow your Pole Lima Beans to grow and be sure that you keep all the weeds out of your beans. You can also if you wish make teepee type structures and run your Pole Lima Beans up on the teepees.
You will need to keep a careful eye on your Pole Lima Beans and be sure to tie the Pole Lima Beans up with twine often to keep them growing up. If you can keep them going up and growing in the right direction you should end up with a huge harvest of Pole Lima Beans. If your growing your Pole Lima Beans around a wooden teepee type structure you will want to plant about six to eight seed around the base of each piece of wood and thin it out to around three to four plants per each piece of wood and you will end up with lots of Pole Lima Beans. Just be sure to keep them growing up and keep fastening them up with twine. Be sure that since your Lima Beans of any type are sensitive to mildew only work with them when it is dry.
Once you get the beans growing you'll want to fertilize the beans sparingly and you'll want to mulch around each bean plant.
When your bean pods are full and the beans have fully developed it is time to harvest your Lima Beans. Keep your mature ripe beans picked off the plants because the beans will stop putting on more beans unless you keep the mature beans picked off.
When you know its near the seasons end let the beans dry on the vines and then harvest your Lima Beans. You can sterilize your shelled mature Lima Beans in a 200 degree oven for about an hour and put them into sip lock bags and store them in the freezer. Home Dried Lima Beans will keep well in the freezer for six months or longer. You can soak the dried Lima Beans overnight when you get ready to cook them. If you want the best Pole Lima Beans then the variety called " The King Of The Garden " is a great high yield Pole Lima Bean that grows well and it produces nice large Lima Beans everyone will love. For bush type Lima Beans then you can't go wrong with a bush variety of Lima Bean called " Fordbrook 242 " You won't find a better Bush Lima Bean.
If you love Lima Beans then you really need to grow the varieties we told you about and you'll end up with a huge harvest of Lima Beans. In the southern USA Lima Beans are often called Butter Beans and where its warm enough like it is in the deep south you'll end up with delicious Lima Beans that you can enjoy in the winter months.
If you can find the Giant Speckled Lima Pole Beans you'll have a huge harvest in about three months and the Giant Speckled Lima Pole Beans are really huge and you can dry them and enjoy them all winter long. You can place them in the oven at 200 degrees for about a hour and your beans will keep all winter long. Place them in zip lock bags after they cool to room temperature and they will keep in the freezer for six to eight months.
I like the Giant Speckled Lima Beans cooked in the Crock Pot with fat back, salt, and black pepper and when I know they are about done or in the last hour of cooking time I add a large can of diced tomatoes for some of the best Speckled Butter Beans that you will ever get to eat.
I hope you get to grow and enjoy some delicious Lima Beans real soon and I want to thank you for taking the time to read my Hub Page on " How To Grow Lima Beans ". Thanks for stopping by.
In This Video We Are Going To Learn How To Grow Lima Beans
Drying Speckled Butter Beans Or Regular Butter Beans
You ca shell your butter beans or giant speckled butter beans and then you can dehydrate them in a regular food dehydrator. You can bag them up in quart or gallon zip lock bags and they will keep for up to a year. You can keep them even longer if you put the dehydrated beans in your home freezer in the zip lock bags.
I really like to grow the speckled pole butter beans. I grow them up over wood that I have fastened into a tee pee and they cover the whole wooden teepee and I can walk inside and pick the big hanging down speckled pole butter beans.
Luscious Lima Bean Soup
Here I'm going to share with you one of the most delicious recipes for delicious Lima Bean Soup. For this recipe you will need.
1. Two Tablespoons Olive Oil.
2. Eight Cups Of Vegetable Stock.
3. Two Stalks Of Celery Very Finely Chopped.
4. One Bunch Of Green Onions Including Tops Chopped Fine.
5. Three Carrots Peeled And Chopped Fine.
6. One Pound Dry Lima Beans.
Put all your ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for eight hours stirring often. After the eight hours have passed add a large can of Ro-tel Tomatoes with Chilies to the pot and cook at least another hour being sure to stir well at least twice.
Serve your Luscious Lima Bean Soup with corn bread for one of the most delicious meals you will ever get to eat. I promise you that this will make some of the most delicious soup you have ever tasted.
Next I'm going to give you the recipe I use quite often when making Ham and Speckled Lima Bean Soup.
Ham And Speckled Lima Bean Soup
1. Four Cans Chicken Broth.
2. One Cup Of Fine Chopped Sweet Onion.
3. One Cup Of Fine Chopped Celery.
4. One Cup Of Fine Chopped Carrots.
5. Two Cups Cubed Boiled Ham.
6. One Pound Speckled Giant Lima Beans.
7. Salt and Pepper To Taste.
8. Two Jalapenos With Seeds Removed And Chopped Fine.
9. Two Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley.
Place all your ingredients in the crock pot and put it on high for eight hours. Stir often while the beans are cooking. These beans are absolutely delicious. Serve them over buttered rice and with corn bread on the side. They are delicious.
And there you have two delicious recipes for Lima Beans that can be cooked easily in the crock pot.
More Information About Lima Beans
Lima Beans like all other legumes are a great source of dietary fiber. Keep in mind that they are a good source of virtually fat free high quality protein. Lima Beans contain soluble fiber which regulates blood sugar and helps to lower bad cholesterol but also insoluble fiber which helps to prevent constipation, digestive disorders and irritable bowel syndrome.
Lima Beans like other vegetables do have some good medicinal benefits that you should check into carefully.
The Health Benefits Of Lima Beans
Its interesting to note that soluble fibers bind with the bile acids that forms cholesterol and because it is not absorbed by the intestines it exits the body with the bile acids attached to it and cholesterol levels are lowered.
This may also help to prevent heart disease and with the lower levels of cholesterol showing up over time you may get to reduce the amount of cholesterol medicine you have to take.
Its also interesting to note here that the high fiber content in Lima Beans helps to lower blood sugar levels. Lima Beans can and do help to balance blood sugar levels. This makes them especially healthful for people who are insulin resistant.
So yes Lima Beans are very good for you and there should be Lima Beans in your future very soon.