Trial Planting of Tepary Beans

I mentioned a while back that I was going to try growing tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius) this year. The plants are very heat and drought tolerant, and the beans themselves are high in protein, calcium and other minerals. Back in June I sowed seeds for two varieties, Blue Speckled and Sacaton Brown. It was sort of a last minute decision to grow them, so I had to find room in the garden as best I could.

Blue Speckled Tepary Bean

Blue Speckled Tepary Bean

For the Blue Speckled, I found a spot at the end of the bed where garlic was planted. Tepary beans are classified as a half-runner bean, with a sprawling habit, so I decided to give them support rather than have them running all over the garden. I found a remesh tomato cage that wasn’t being used, and planted the beans around the outside of the cage.

young tepary bean plants

young tepary bean plants

For the Sacaton Brown variety, I used a spot at the end of the brassica bed where I had pulled the Senposai plants. That gave me an area slightly over ten feet long to plant the beans. I sunk a couple of metal t-posts and put up a trellis like I do for my pole beans. I also spread straw to help control weeds. I didn’t put down newspaper or cardboard though, since tepary beans are supposed to prefer drier growing conditions. Both varieties came up in about a week, and the plants are now two weeks old. As you can see in the above photo, the leaves are a bit more pointed than most garden beans.

trellis for tepary beans

trellis for tepary beans

There’s not a whole lot of information available about growing tepary beans, and since I’ve never grown them myself it will be surely a learning experience for me. I’m excited about the prospects of growing a bean that can tolerate our hot summer weather. I’ll be sure and give updates on their progress.

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7 Responses to Trial Planting of Tepary Beans

  1. Margaret says:

    I only give each pole variety a 4′ long spot, so a 10′ row is a lot of space in my books! We do get hot summers as well (or at least we used to). I recall in my first year with the beds 4 years ago that the pole beans (Kentucky Wonder) all of a sudden stopped producing & then started up again about a month later. I only realized later that it was likely the heat that had caused that.

  2. Good luck with growing the part beans. They like it hot and dry and are a plant of the Southwest Desert. They don’t require much water. They look really good so far. Thanks for posting pics of your growing plants, not just the harvests. I like seeing other people’s gardens.
    Lou Murray’s Green World recently posted…My woeful garden, June 2015My Profile

  3. Mike Yaeger says:

    Living in the desert southwest, I’m quite interested in your experiment. You introduced me in the idea of growing tepary beans in an earlier post. They sure look to be off to a good start!

  4. Daphne says:

    I miss beans. It will be fun watching to see how they grow though. For me dried beans were always so much fun. They come in so many varieties and are so pretty.

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing how your experiment with Tepary beans goes. I almost tried some this year but opted for chickpeas instead. There’s so many interesting beans to try.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – July 6, 2015My Profile

  6. Sarah says:

    I’m growing these this yeat! Very excited! How did they turn out for you? Would you recommend them?

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