Our Fordhooks have been blooming for well over a month, and the plants are...

Asked August 10, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

Our Fordhooks have been blooming for well over a month, and the plants are still covered with blooms. We have pods in the 2 1/2 to 3" range, but the beans themselves don't seem to be filling out very well. Is it common for them to mature this slowly? We planted one row about 3 years ago with dismal results, with the exception of the plants on either end of the row which were able to support themselves on the fence. The unsupported plants in the middle of the row all fell over when they reached about 12" in height. This year we supported each plant from a horizontal wire at about 42". This worked very well as most plants are approaching 3 1/2' in height. We are not having any trouble setting fruit, just curious why the pods are so slow to fill out. Any thoughts or information will be greatly appreciated.

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

Lima beans are native to Central America and therefore require that the soil temperatures (not the air temps) reach 65 degrees. Because of the cool spring, our soil took longer than normal to heat up and many things are late this year as a result. Also, Lima beans are slow to mature and Fordhooks are slower than some smaller types, averaging about 75 days. As long as the pods are not turning yellow or falling off, you should be okay. LW