Re-Growth Cropping of Lima Beans

Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable & Fruit Specialist;

A number of growers are interested in the potential for re-growth cropping of lima beans. This is where plants are left to re-grow after pod stripping in early harvested fields, allowing for a second crop. Over the years this has been successful on a few fields. There are still a lot of questions to answer on cultural methods to best promote re-growth and yields of the second crop and research is being conducted at the University of Delaware to address these questions.

The following are some considerations for re-cropping lima beans:

● Only the earliest harvested fields should be considered. This would be May planted lima beans harvested at the end of July or beginning of August.

● Irrigated fields are more likely to have success.

● Limit truck and harvester traffic on fields to be re-cropped.

● Within a week of pod stripping, fields to be re-cropped should have additional N applied and should be cultivated to reduce compaction caused by harvest and to control weeds. The fields should then be irrigated.

● Additional herbicides should be applied after cultivation to control weeds in-row and to have residual control for later weed germination. Choices are limited to those that can be applied post-emergence.

● Fungicides should be considered as re-growth occurs to help reduce secondary infections from wounds created at harvest and to protect and promote the new growth (a strobilurin fungicide plus a copper fungicide).

The limitation to re-growth cropping will be having enough days, day length, and heat units to mature the crop before a killing frost in October. This means you need a full crop of pin pods by the end of August or first week in September.