Fordhook 242 Lima Bean Seeds
Plump, top-quality eating beans in uniform pods!
Bush lima beans produce earlier than pole varieties and need no support. They need warm growing conditions, so sow the seeds direct after the soil has warmed in spring. Space plants 8 inches apart, and harvest when the pods are plump yet still fresh. Pkt is 100 seeds (1/4 lb.).
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- Growing Information
- Customer Reviews
- How to Sow & Grow
- Bulk Vegetable Seed
- Superior Seed Germination
- Seed FAQ
- 3 Sisters
|Days To Maturity||75|
|FruitLength||3.5 in - 4 in|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Moisture Requirements||Moist, well-drained|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
An ancient crop found on every continent except Antarctica, the bean is a staple of the human diet in all cultures. Packed with fiber and protein (including the vital amino acid lysine), it is also an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C; folic acid; iron; calcium; and phosphorus. Eaten with certain grains, such as corn, it makes a complete protein. Some varieties of bean can be eaten fresh, while others can be stored for many months. Doubtless the bean is responsible for the survival of countless peoples during the (at least) 9 thousand years it has been cultivated as a food crop.
How fortunate, then, that the bean should be both delicious and easy to grow! You don't need a lot of garden space for beans -- they even thrive in containers -- and few plants are easier to grow. If you've got sunshine and soil, we've got a great bean just waiting for you!
Choosing a Variety
There are as many types of beans as there are gardeners to grow them! Grown almost everywhere in the world, beans are amazingly various, with some 4,000 varieties currently available. Beans grow in two ways: vining, which we call Pole beans; and mounding, which we call Bush beans. That said, let's quickly narrow the selection by categorizing beans into their 3 main groups:
Snap or String - These are young beans intended to be eaten "pod and all" when fresh, or to be frozen or canned when young and tender. The pods are succulent and flavorful, making them a popular home garden choice. These 'green' beans can come in colors like green, gold, purple, or red, and the pods can be range from long and thin to stout or flat. Bush snap beans mature in about 45 to 55 days. Pole snaps take 60 to 70 days.
Green/Shelling - Also intended to be eaten when young (that's what "green" means; it doesn't indicate the color of the pods!), green or shelling beans are grown for the tender young seeds inside the pods. Limas (butter beans) are a popular green/shelling bean. Bush green/shelling beans harvest in 70 to 80 days; pole green/shelling beans are ready in 80 to 95 days.
Dry - Dry or hard-shelled beans are meant to be eaten after the seeds inside the pod have dried out, though many varieties, such as our own Borlotto Solista, can be picked young for fresh eating, too. Ideal for long-term storage, dry varieties were the beans of choice in home gardens until the early 20th century, when advances in storage methods and improved varieties of snap and green beans made fresh beans more readily available and much more tasty. And dry beans can be eaten young at about 90 to 100 days, but will take more weeks to dry completely in the pod for harvesting as "dry" or storage beans.
When to Start
Direct-sow beans outdoors in spring and early summer when the soil has warmed up and night temperatures remain above 55 degrees F.
If you live in a short growing season or prefer to begin the seeds indoors, sow them in large peat pots no more than 4 weeks before you plan to transplant them. Beans prefer not to be disturbed after sowing, so transplant can be chancy.
How to Start
General information for all types of beans
Beans need full sun and deep, rich, well-drained soil to grow their best. As soon as the soil is workable in spring, dig down about 8 inches in the areas you are planning to sow your beans. Work a good amount of rich compost, manure, or other organic matter into the soil. If you are planting pole beans, consider their position in relation to the rest of the vegetable garden. When the beans get tall, they will cast shade for several feet, so plan accordingly: prepare the soil on the northern end of the veggie patch to avoid shading other plants, or farther south if some shade is desired for neighboring plants.
Sow beans about 1 to 1½ inches deep. Sprinkle inoculant as you plant, to increase the nitrogen-fixing ability of the bean plants.
Expect high germination rates from your beans. You should see the first sprouts in about 6 to 10 days.
Bush beans: Space beans about 3 inches apart in single or double rows 18 to 24 inches apart. For a continuous season of bush beans, do not plant all the beans at once. Make successive plantings every 3 weeks up to 2 months before your first anticipated fall frost.Pole beans: Space 6 to 8 beans evenly around the base of the pole or other support. If growing the beans up a trellis, space them 3 inches apart. If growing the beans up a freestanding fence, space them 3 inches apart along both sides of the fence.
Beans are open-pollinated plants, not hybrids. They are self-pollinating, and technically can be cross-pollinated, but this is very rare. The standard advice is to separate different types of beans by physical space or natural barriers (such as high walls or tall, dense plants), but gardeners constantly report growing many different beans side by side with no apparent cross-pollination.
If you want to can or freeze your bean crop, consider growing varieties that harvest all at once. Snap bush beans, because of their shorter crop time, are an excellent choice.
Consider growing a Three Sisters planting of corn, pole beans, and squash. This Native American technique is one of the best examples of companion planting for mutual benefits. Not only do each of the 3 plants help the others grow their best, but the beans and the corn, if eaten together, form a complete protein! And nothing looks quite as exciting in the vegetable garden as a Three Sisters display.
Harvest fresh beans before you can see the bulge of a developing bean through the green pod. At that stage, the bean is over-mature, the pod is tough, and the beans are best eaten as a shelled bean.
Store unwashed fresh beans in plastic bags in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for a few days. Washing the beans before storage causes them to decay quickly. Instead, wash them just before serving or cooking.
Harvest dry beans when the pods are completely brown and dried out, but before the pods have split open. The seeds inside should be hard.
Many edible bean varieties are so lovely you may wish you had them in the flower garden, and several types of beans are now grown primarily for their ornamental effect. Scarlet runner and <#prodlink#"5511">dwarf runner are all beautiful ornamental beans no sunny garden should lack. For something a little out of the ordinary, consider the magnificent Hyacinth Bean.
Beans are a very easy and successful crop, but to make the most of them, follow three simple rules:
- Never work with the plants in wet weather
- Keep the garden free of debris all season long and especially after harvest
- Don't grow beans in exactly the same spot year after year
- Make sure your beans get about an inch of water a week. They do not need to be fertilized, but a layer of compost on top of the soil (and mulched in) a few weeks after planting can be beneficial.
- Beans can be grown quite easily in containers. Sow and space the beans just as you would for the garden.
- After harvesting your beans, chop up the plants and plough them back into the soil. As nitrogen fixers, they enrich garden soil tremendously.
Pests and Problems to Watch For
- Spotted, wrinkled, or curled-under foliage are signs of Common Bean Mosaic Virus (CBM), and may lead to deformed pods. CBM is caused by aphids, which should be treated immediately with insecticidal soap. Pull up any plant showing signs of CBM, and do not plow it under or add it to the compost pile. Your best defense against CBM may be to choose resistant varieties, of which there are many. CMB-resistant snap beans include Festina, Soleil, Bash, Jade, and the superb "resistant to everything" Masai. Green/shelling varieties include Smeraldo.
- Tiny holes in the leaves of young bean plants signal the presence of Bean Leaf Beetles. They are a danger only early in the season; later they may nibble a pod here and there, but they won't do much damage. Control them fast by pulling them off by hand and then covering the entire row (if growing bush beans) with a row cover. If you know that Bean Leaf Beetles are a problem in your growing area, try interplanting your beans with potatoes, which will fight off the beetle (while the beans return the favor by repelling potato pests!).
- Black, brown, or red spots on the pods are the calling card of Anthracnose, a fungal disease. Prevention is the only remedy here: be sure not to cultivate your beans in wet weather, clean any debris from the bean growing area promptly, and rotate crops from year to year.
How to Sow Beans:
- Innoculate with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria prior to sowing
- Seeds are best sown outdoors after all danger of frost is past in the spring and when the soil is warm
- Seeds can also be sown indoors 3 weeks before planting them out in a warm soil
- Sow them in individual pots at a temperature of 70° and at the same depth as outdoors
- Indoors and out, expect germination in 6-10 days
- It is 8-10 weeks between sowing and fruit production
- When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed
How to Grow Beans:
Transplanting: Transplant when there are at least two sets of true leaves
Spacing: Space bush varieties 2-3 inches apart in rows spaced 18-24 inches apart. Space pole varieties 6-8 inches apart in rows 36 inches apart
Soil: Site in full sun in a neutral, loose, rich, moist, well-drained soil. Feed with a 1-2-2 ratio fertilizer prior to planting and again when 6-8 inches tall
Additional Care: Bush Beans will mature faster than Pole Beans, so for a continuous crop, successively sow them every 2 weeks until 2 months before first frost. Pole Beans are more productive and need to be grown on a trellis, fence, tripod, or other structure
Appearance and Use:
Green, Snap, French, String, and Wax Beans are all produced by this vining or bushing, annual plant. Harvest when the beans are succulent, just before they are mature. Keep them picked to keep the plants producing. To dry beans, allow them to remain on the plant until they turn brown and begin to shatter
Botanical name: Phaseolus vulgaris
Pronunciation: få-se-o’-lus vul-ga’ris
Origination: Fabaceae; native to tropical America
If you are fortunate enough to grow a large vegetable patch, participate in a neighborhood or community garden, or work a farm, Park's bulk vegetable seed is the perfect product at a terrific price! We've taken some of our most popular and delicious varieties and packaged them in larger quantities. And what we save in sorting, storing, and packaging expenses, we pass along to you! So choose your favorites and best wishes for a productive and tasty harvest this season!
Note: These seed counts are estimates. The actual number of seeds per ounce/pound may vary slightly.
|(P) Pkt *||200||100||160||(P) Pkt *||200||200|
|(M) 1/4 lb||575||275||375||(G) 1/4 oz||450||2000|
|(N) 1/2 lb||1150||550||750||(H) 1/2 oz||900||4000|
|(L) 1 lb||2300||1100||1500||(J) 1 oz||1800||8000|
|(R) 2 lbs||4600||2200||3000||(K) 2 oz||3600||16000|
|(S) 5 lbs||11500||5500||7500|
* A few varieties may have a different (P) Pkt seed count than the quantity listed; check the specific variety's description for the number of seeds per pkt.
Superior Germination Through Superior SciencePark Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University InspectedTo make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced TechniciansPark Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold StandardAnd many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier. When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Does Park sell GMO's or treated seeds?
It is important for our customers to know that Park Seed does not sell GMO or treated seed. We do buy a small amount of traditional hybrid seed from Seminis, a division of Monsanto Co., but that is all we purchase from them.
What are the differences between organic, heirloom, and hybrid seed?
Basically, organic seeds are seeds that are produced without the use and exposure to artificial/chemical fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other chemicals. They have to be grown, harvested, stored, and handled under very strict organic rules and procedures. All of our organic seeds are USDA 100% certified organic through Clemson University and the certificate has to be renewed yearly.
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
What are pelleted seeds? Why do you use them? How do I handle/sow them?
Extremely small seed such as Petunias and Pentas are shipped as pelleted seed to make them easier to handle and sow. Pelleted seed are coated, usually with clay, to make them larger in size. After sowing, the coating will dissolve when wet and the seed will germinate. Pelleted seeds are shipped in vials placed inside seed packets, which protects them from being crushed. When sowing, be certain to use thoroughly moistened soil, to be sure that the clay coating absorbs enough moisture to dissolve. For sowing pelleted Petunia seeds, place the seeds directly on the soil surface and do not cover with soil, as light aids in the germination.
What is ideal temperature to germinate most seeds?
The ideal temperature to germinate most seeds is approximately 70 degrees F; give or take 1-2 degrees either way. This would be a good germination temperature for most flower and vegetable seeds and would be the most practical and feasible temperatures achieved for gardeners starting seeds in the home. You will notice for some seeds that it is recommended to use alternating day (warmer), night (cooler), temperatures, which is fine if one can provide such conditions. But most people are unable to provide those temperatures in a home setting, so just use the overall 70 degree F recommendation and the seeds should germinate well.
How long should grow lights be kept on per day and how close to the plants should the light be kept?
For germination and seedling/plant growth, you want to simulate the natural day-night cycles, and as a general rule, grow lights should be on 8-12 hours per day and off at night. You can vary this timing, as some seeds such as tomato, pepper, petunia, impatiens, and others, benefit from 14-17 hours of light per day (and the remainder of the 24 hour period in darkness). The most common grow lights used are fluorescent; using cool white, warm white, and wide-spectrum fluorescent tubes. These lights work well for germination and for growing plants up to a transplantable size. Fluorescent lights should be kept close though, 3-6 inches above the soil or the growing plants, adjusting the height as the plants grow.
How long will seeds keep in storage?
Park Seed stores seed in a special temperature- and humidity-controlled storage facility, which keeps seeds in excellent condition. Our seeds should be good for at least 1-2 years on average. Seed viability and storage time will vary depending on the seed item; some will keep a shorter time and some will keep longer. Seeds should be stored in a cool, dark, dry place. A basement will do (if not too humid), or a cool, dark room or closet. We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store them in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What is the best way to store seeds over a longer time period?
We recommend the best way to extend seed storage life is to store seeds in something air tight, such as a plastic zipper storage bag or canning jar, and place it in the refrigerator. This will extend the life of seeds for many years.
What depth should I sow various seeds?
When sowing seed outdoors, we recommend a maximum planting depth of 4X the width of the seed. When sowing seed indoors, the planting depth can be less, depending on the seed being sown, so it is always best to check specific directions. Here are some general guidelines concerning planting depth in relation to seed size: Tiny, dust-like seeds need to be sown on the surface of the growing medium or soil, uncovered, as they need light to germinate. The planting depth for small seed can be anywhere from barely covering, to 1/8-inch deep, to possibly 1/4-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Medium seed should be planted at 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, depending on the recommendation. Larger seeds can be planted 1-inch or deeper, depending on the recommendation.
The ancient Native American technique of growing Corn, Beans, and Squash together in an arrangement called the Three Sisters is the ultimate in companion planting and helps increase harvests, naturally!
Corn acts as a support for climbing bean vines, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil for the high feeding requirements of corn and squash, and the squash provides mulch and root protection for the corn and beans! After cooperating beautifully in the garden, corn and beans form a complete protein when eaten together! How's that for a mutually beneficial relationship?
The Three Sisters are all easy to direct sow in the garden and are a great project for children, teaching them about the beauty of natural harmony while providing a fast-growing reward for their efforts.
Make the best possible use of your garden space this season, and try growing the Three Sisters! Just follow the easy steps listed below, fertilize well, plant other companions like herbs to assist with pest control, and you'll be harvesting your best crop in no time!
In May or June when soil has warmed:
Shape a flat-topped circular mound of soil about a foot high and 2 feet across at the top, sloping outward toward the base. Plant a circle of corn seeds on top, about 5 or 6, and water them in well, tamping down your soil mound firmly so it doesn't wash away in the first rain. Space the mounds 3 or 4 feet apart in the garden.
Since all corn grows on sturdy, dependable stalks, the variety you choose depends on the flavor, disease resistance, and holding ability you want. Sugar Buns is a Sugar Enhanced (SE) yellow hybrid with absolutely scrumptious golden kernels and is positively scrumptious. For SE whites, you can't beat Silver Princess, with extra-long ears bursting with flavor. And for the sweetest ears yet, you absolutely must try Corn Mirai, available in Yellow, White, Bicolor, and even a Mini!
About two weeks later:
When your corn reaches about 5 or 6 inches high, plant Bean seeds (6 to 8 of them) around the edges of the flat top or about halfway down the sloping sides of the circular mound. Push the seeds down deep into the soil and, if you're planting on the slope, make sure the soil is nice and firm. Add a bit of Nature's Aid at planting time to help the Beans fix nitrogen.
To get your Beans to climb up the cornstalks, choose Pole rather than Bush varieties. Smeraldo is far and away the best-tasting Pole Bean, with flat pods up to 10 inches long on vigorous 4- to 6-foot vines. Park gardeners rave about Kwintus, a super-early performer with succulent pods on stringless 8- to 10-inch pods. And is the classic name in Beans, with top-quality dark green pods that are both stringless and fiberless, even if you pick them a bit late. We even have Blue Lake available in organic seed!
One week or so after that:
Plant Squash seeds around the base of the mound, on flat ground. You can make them radiate around the mound, or just go in the direction you have available space! 6 to 8 seeds in a ring around the base of the mound is usually plenty.
The traditional Squash family member for this Sister is Pumpkin, with its all-American flavor and long growing season. For a quicker harvest, grow Summer Squash varieties such as organic Early Summer Crookneck or Zucchini such as space-saving Eight Ball Hybrid.
When everything begins growing...
Thin the plantings to 2 or 3 Corn stalks, each with no more than 2 Bean plants winding around it. (You'll need to help the Beans get started growing up the stalks). The Squash is going to vine along the ground, so the number of plants you need depends on how far apart your mounds of corn and beans are, how long the vines get, and how much walking space you need in the garden.
Add a FOURTH sister: Sunflowers!
Sunflowers attract birds, thus tempting them away from your corn plants. They shade the vining bean plants while also adding support. Plus, they're beautiful! It's a win-win situation!