Tepary Bean Update

Back in June I made a planting of tepary beans. This is my first time growing them, so I consider this a test to see how they do in our climate. I sowed seeds of two varieties, Blue Speckled and Sacaton Brown. You can read about how I planted them in this post. Other than keeping them (mostly) weeded, I haven’t done anything else to them other than to encourage them to vine on the supports I gave them. Back in August they started blooming and setting on pods, which are flattish and mostly contain four to six seeds.

tepary bean pod

tepary bean pod

It didn’t take long for the pods to mature, first turning yellow and then brown as they began to dry. Since the pods are supposedly prone to shattering when dry, I’ve been carefully pulling them off the vine as they turn brown. I say ‘carefully’ because the vines themselves are somewhat delicate and a two-handed approach seems to work best for me. I hold the vine with one hand and pull off the pod with the other, not unlike I do with bush beans where it is easy to pull up the whole plant if you aren’t careful.

dried tepary bean pods

dried tepary bean pods

I’ve been bringing the pods inside to finish drying, since our climate is so humid. Other beans don’t usually dry well outside here, and some have even been known to sprout in the pods if we get a rainy spell at just the right time.

tepary bean pods ready for shellilng

tepary bean pods ready for shellilng

The Blue Speckled variety seems to be a bit earlier than the Sacaton Brown. It has given us dried beans in a little less than 90 days, though the other variety is not far behind. The total yield so far is still quite small, about 1/4 cup of shelled beans, but the plants are still blooming and setting pods.

Blue Speckled tepary beans after shelling

Blue Speckled tepary beans after shelling

They have been quite easy to grow, and have not been bothered by pests or disease. Based on the results so far, I believe I will try growing these two varieties again next year. I do want to see how they perform when planted earlier, though I have to say planting them in early June seems to be working quite well here. I’ll do another update later in the season as the harvesting progresses. Who knows, eventually we may get to eat some of them!


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5 Responses to Tepary Bean Update

  1. Margaret says:

    Those beans look great. Looking forward to hearing how the total yields are. I’m actually surprised that you plant your beans out in June as that’s basically the same as here & I had thought your temperatures warmed up a lot sooner.
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – September 14, 2015My Profile

  2. Michelle says:

    Those are so pretty. 90 days for dried beans, wow. If they produce like that here I could probably do two successions. I’m so tempted to give them a try.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – September 14, 2015My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I was surprised at how quick they were ready. Native Seeds has so many varieties, I bet there’s one that would work in your climate.

  3. Norma Chang says:

    Like Margaret I too am looking forward to your final results. Hope you harvest enough for tasting as well and we will hear the verdict.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, September 14, 2015 – Onions Failure + Leek & Parsnip + Bolted NapaMy Profile

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