|'John Harmon', also known as 'Simmons Red Streak', is a dwarf heirloom variety with 4 foot long vines that bear most of their pods toward the base. The leaves are waxen and crumpled, and bloom with white flowers. Good variety for smaller gardens. If picked very early, the shelly bean is not bad, but usually these are harvested dry.
Lima beans are an ancient group of beans which grow well in southern climates with warm summers. They can be grown as bushes, or vines, depending on the cultivar. Climbing varieties need at least 80 days for maturity, but the bush varieties tend to mature faster.
Seeds need at least 65 degree Farenheit soil to germinate. Soil should be well drained, sandy loam. If your soil is heavy, these beans will be best reared in raised beds. Soil should be neutral, or slightly acidic. Sow in late spring, 2 weeks after the last frost. Seeds should be 1 inch deep and 4 inches apart, rows 3 feet apart. Climbing types will need stakes or trellises.
Watering will increase the yield, and is especially beneficial when the plants are in bloom. Don't apply too much nitrogen or you will get all vine and no fruit.