Growing Asparagus Beans

These asperagus beans are a yard long, and you'll love them.

Have you sever seen the yardlong beans, known as snake bean, asparagus bean, or dow ghok? These Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis will actually yield wonderful tasting pods with 10 to 20 seeds inside on very strong vines. You could have lots of fun growing these beans and attract all the friends and neighbors as they will surely come over and ask whatever are you growing. Children will love growing these beans and what a joy to share your gardening with a small child to grow a vegetable. Some have black seeds and children really love these. There are some with black and white seeds also.

These yardlong beans taste like a combined string bean and a black-eyed pea: they are cooked by steaming them very lightly. They make an excellent addition to a stir fry, cutting them into small sizes before cooking. I find that garlic and just a touch of ginger will really make them delicious. Now I would recommend picking them before they are an actual yard long as they can get a tiny bit tough.

Look in the catalogues and order different varieties such as Green Pod Black Seed or Green Pot Red Seed, and many others, and don't forget when cooked the colors are the same.

When planting them I would advise you to add a powderized nitrogen fixing bacteria to the soil. The seeds need warm soil also to germinate and don't plant till after the frost in your area. You will need support for these vines, as they could reach up to ll feet or so tall. You could

have lots of fun with your children just building a support tower or trellis for this beans.

When you have harvested the beans, just when you see the pods begin to swell, you'll want to save a few seeds for next year as once you plant these beans you will want to grow more. I know the children will ask to grow them yearly.

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