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Legume newbie help

Tracy Brant
15 years ago

I have not grown peas or beans before. They seemed too "large" for my narrow urban yard, but I am testing my assumptions.

What I want is peas and beans to dry for soup, baked beans, and hummus. Like the ones I buy dried: Northern white, black, navy, cannellini, pinto, garbanzo, split peas, lentils, etc.

I have a row of "Maestro" peas along a fence, planted Mar 20, and they seem to be growing well - but I didn't know about innoculant. Is it too late? Will is affect yield or just nitrogen fixing. I know I can eat them as fresh garden peas - but can I also let them dry on the vine for dried peas? Are there special varieties for dried peas, or are they all just garden peas left to mature?

I soaked a couple chickpeas from my pantry, and they sprouted. I know they grow chickpeas in the northern US plains and Canadian "drylands", so can I assume I have a long enough growing season in PA? It there anything I should know about chickpeas? It's hard to find info about growing them in home gardens. Do they need innoculant?

Now the beans. Should I just grab a couple from the pantry give it a try? There are SO many bean varieties, and many look alike.

I have a Taylor Dwarf Horticultural Bean plant, also seems to be doing well. I swapped for a handful, but only one sprouted when soaked. Germinated April 12th. I know that is a "shelly" bean, bush type. When should I plant it in the yard? It's 80 degrees the past few days, but it will be back down to upper-40s at night and upper-60s during the day next week.

What other beans should I try? With my limited space, I am looking for bush types I can containerize if necessary. Or... are the best shelly beans on vines?

Is there a beginnners guide to beans somewhere?

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