Pole limas - no pods also potato issues

Asked August 20, 2020, 9:49 PM EDT

Hello I grew several different pole limas this year. I grow in raised beds with great soil. The beds are supplemented each year with leaf gro. The vines are beautiful and lush but no pods. Too much nitrogen? Also, tried to grow potatoes for the first time. Raised beds. Had great lush plants. Buried the stems under a foot of soil as the plants grew. They reached 3 feet above the soil line. Flowered nicely. Then died back quickly. Yielded only a few small potatoes. Thoughts?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

Hi- there can be multiple reasons for the lima bean issue. Two of the most common causes are excess nitrogen and excessive day and evening temps. Plant crowding and low sunlight are two other possibilities. If you only add Leafgro to the soil and sunlight and spacing are not issues, then heat stress is a strong possibility. Try stripping out some of the lower leaves to force new flower buds. With cooler temps you may still get some flowering and podding this year.

Next year you may want to plant your limas where they get late afternoon shade.

Pole lima is more susceptible to heat stress than bush lima. Read more about this issue from UDEL researchers: https://sites.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=15378

Potato- excess nitrogen, crowding, low sunlight and other factors could cause low yields but may have also been caused by covering stems with too much soil.

Tubers are formed right below the seed potato. Soil is hilled up initially to promote plant growth and then again to protect the enlarging tubers from sunlight. The deep covering of soil may have impeded tuber development.