About Henderson Bush Bean: This early, drought tolerant bush lima bean was first found in 1883, growing on a roadside in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1888, Peter Henderson & Company introduced the bean to local gardeners, who appreciated it for being one of the first lima beans that needed no poles for support. Lima beans, named for the capital city of Peru where they were first discovered by the Spaniards, originated in the wilds of Central and South America. Archaeologists find that lima beans often appear painted on clay pottery, and apparently made up an important part of the diet of the ancient Incans. Traders and explorers brought the lima bean to their own countries, where it spread far and wide. Henderson Bush Beans originated
Henderson Bush Bean Germination: Because lima beans cannot survive cold weather, plant them well after the last frost; the soil temperature should be at least 70 degrees. Place them about 5" apart, "eye" side down and 1" deep, in rows 3' apart. The soil should be enriched with compost or other organic matter, and deeply worked; lima beans appreciate full sun. Germination may be slow.
Growing Henderson Bush Bean Seeds: Thin to 8" apart, but do not transplant. Do not water, since this can cause the seedlings to rot. Keep weeds under control before the plants start blossoming, since disturbing the plants while they are in bloom can cause the blossoms to drop off.
Harvesting Henderson Bush Bean: The first harvest should be approximately 60-80 days after germination. Pick the beans when the pod begins to fill out and feels firm. Generally, the smaller the bean the more tender it will taste. Prompt picking actually increases the harvest, while leaving the pods on the plant too long results in tough beans.
Saving Henderson Bush Bean Seeds: Varieties of lima, runner, or fava beans will cross pollinate. To prevent cross pollination, isolate the plants you are saving for seed from these other varieties by at least a half a mile. Since these varieties are pollinated by bees, another option is to divert the bees by planting flowers that attract them somewhere else. Near the end of the growing season, allow the beans to dry completely on the vine; the pods will be light brown, and the seeds will rattle inside. Remove the seeds from the pods. After the seeds are completely dry, store them in a cool, dry place for up to a year.
Detailed Henderson Bush Bean Info: Phaseolus lunatus. Annual. 65 days to maturity. 70 seeds per oz. 12-18" height. 3-6" spacing. This baby bush lima produces 3-4" pods with light green beans that dry white.