*How I Prefer Limas*
By: Leslie
21 August 2014

It would seem like it is easy to say to pick lima beans when they are "plump, but not over full"; but, sometimes it's hard to tell. If I am unsure of whether the plumpness means the beans are the right size or that the pod itself is plump, I try to hold them up to the light to see the seed inside without picking the pod.

I like to pick the limas when they are still on the small side, even though it reduces yield, because they are mealy when they are fully mature.

I still find that I pick several pods each time that are empty.

So, I had a few minutes and decided to see if I could get pictures of the beans on the bush while checking for maturity. I like to pick limas when there is a little space between the beans. This is not necessary. It's a personal preference.

Here are a few lima bean pods showing the beans inside.

This is one of the three above after shelled. This is what I aim for when harvesting.

My mother and I just had this conversation and she prefers to wait until the pods are full. As you can see from this pic, there is no space between the beans inside the pod.

These beans are larger and therefore there is more yield. As I said above, it is personal preference and either is appropriate. I have to admit that when I cook the beans that are fully mature like the ones below they are not as good as the younger ones.... but my mother is a better cook than I am and her lima beans are always perfect.


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