Failure of Lima Beans to Mature
I live in Montgomery County and planted limas in mid-May (Fordhook 242) and in full sun (6-8 hrs/da). They were slow to develop and pod and now in mid-Oct I am harvesting them because of our recent freeze. Many of the pods are empty or with very small beans inside. About 30-40% of the pods are this way. The rest of the pods contain normal beans. The plants and foliage are large and appear normal. What can do this - cause such prolonged maturation? Pollination failure? Thanks.
Growing lima beans in Maryland has become quite challenging. Warm night temperatures does seem to have an effect on pollination. The empty pods and the inconsistency in the size of the bean is a good indication of poor pollination.
Do you have any comments about the use of pheoromones (such as "Bee Scent") to attract polinators?
We have no specific information about Bee Scent. These products only work if there are bees close enough to be impacted. We do suggest that you plant pollinator plants as discussed on the following link: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/what-can-i-do-help-pollinators
You are not alone in having problems getting limas. Weather conditions are certainly a factor diminishing yields. vw