Stand Reduction in Lima Beans

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist; gcjohn@udel.edu

Recommendations are for a stand of 3 to 4 plants per foot of row for baby limas. However, each year there are some lima bean fields that end up with lower stands than expected due to soil crusting, planter malfunctions, seed quality issues, errors in setting planting rates, or other problems. I recently visited a field that was planted deeper than normal in wet soil. The soil was tight and seeds were having a hard time emerging. The only option was to rotary hoe the field. Stand reductions are expected in this situation.

Fortunately, lima beans compensate very well for stand loss by producing larger plants that can bear more pods. As long as there are not large gaps in rows without plants, there will be little effect on yield. In research at UD, stand reductions of 50% reduced yields by only 14% in baby lima beans.

 

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