Gardening: Knowing The Difference Between Pole and Bush Lima Beans

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Knowing the difference between pole and bush lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) is essential before starting the seeds in your garden. Hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to11, these beans differ in yield and growing methods, which might make you prefer one over the other. (See References 1) Regardless of which type you grow, both are a nice addition in soups, stews and casseroles. About the Yield Bush and pole limas differ in that bush limas mature about 10 to 15 days earlier. The crops are produced all at once, making them ideal for freezing, and they mature in just 65 to 75 days. Pole limas produce a small amount each day and will continue to do so until the frost, as long as you harvest regularly. It takes pole beans about 85 to 110 days to mature. (See References 2 and 3) Although bush types tend to require less work, pole types produce more. A 10-foot row of bush beans can yield about 8 pounds, while a 10-foot row of pole beans can yield about 15 pounds. (See References 4, p. 84) Different Growing Habits One of the big difference between bush and pol...

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