How to Grow Limas Beans Indoors? Follow These 5 Easy Steps!
Growing lima beans indoors is an enjoyable and rewarding experience that is easy enough for children or gardening novices to enjoy. Lima beans, sometimes known as butter beans, are an excellent source of proteins, fiber and magnesium. Despite their nutritional benefits, you must exercise extreme caution when working with uncooked beans, as they contain a toxin called linamarin that can be potentially dangerous. However, even with that warning in mind, here is a step by step guide for growing lima beans indoors:
1. Obtain the best beans for growing indoors. It is recommended to use the Henderson or Fordhook varieties, as they grow into manageable bushes. You should look for raw lima beans that are no more than one year old.
2. Pre-soak the beans before planting. Submerge the beans in warm water for a minimum of eight hours, but no more than 24 hours. This soaking process helps the beans sprout. If they do not sprout within the 24 hour timeframe, they can be sandwiched between several layers of damp paper towels in a sealed sandwich baggie with air left inside. Keep the beans in a warm environment such as a windowsill and check daily to see if they have sprouted.
3. Gather your materials. Choose one to two 8-10 inch containers and fill the bottom 1/2 inch with gravel. The rest of the container should be filled with organic potting soil that is not too high in nitrogen and is a time release blend. Because lima bean seedlings are notoriously weak and cannot break through heavy soil layers, the soil should be loose.
4. Plant the beans. Create a hole in the soil 1-2 inch deep and place a sprouted lima bean in the hole with its sprout pointed down toward the center of the pot. Cover the remaining space lightly with potting soil and cover the top with a layer of plastic wrap to increase humidity and encourage growth. The container should then be placed in an area with direct sunlight for 6+ hours a day and at least 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Monitor the growth and harvest when ready. Once the seedlings sprout above ground, remove the plastic wrap and allow the beans to grow. Consider providing support to pot, as the foliage will flop over the rim of the pot otherwise. Water only when the top inch of soil has dried or if the foliage seems weak or brittle. The pods are ready to harvest when they are bright green, 3 inches long, and look plump and filled. Picking the pods when ready encourages further production.
With a bit of patience and care, you will have delighted in a home filled with these delicious nutty flavoured beans. Enjoy the satisfaction of having cultivated the beans and of enjoying their scrumptious flavour!