I mentioned a while back that I was going to try growing tepary beans (Phaseolus acutifolius) this year. The plants are very heat and drought tolerant, and the beans themselves are high in protein, calcium and other minerals. Back in June I sowed seeds for two varieties, Blue Speckled and Sacaton Brown. It was sort of a last minute decision to grow them, so I had to find room in the garden as best I could.
For the Blue Speckled, I found a spot at the end of the bed where garlic was planted. Tepary beans are classified as a half-runner bean, with a sprawling habit, so I decided to give them support rather than have them running all over the garden. I found a remesh tomato cage that wasn’t being used, and planted the beans around the outside of the cage.
For the Sacaton Brown variety, I used a spot at the end of the brassica bed where I had pulled the Senposai plants. That gave me an area slightly over ten feet long to plant the beans. I sunk a couple of metal t-posts and put up a trellis like I do for my pole beans. I also spread straw to help control weeds. I didn’t put down newspaper or cardboard though, since tepary beans are supposed to prefer drier growing conditions. Both varieties came up in about a week, and the plants are now two weeks old. As you can see in the above photo, the leaves are a bit more pointed than most garden beans.
There’s not a whole lot of information available about growing tepary beans, and since I’ve never grown them myself it will be surely a learning experience for me. I’m excited about the prospects of growing a bean that can tolerate our hot summer weather. I’ll be sure and give updates on their progress.