The Q&A Archives: Pruning Lima Beans

Question: I am growing Burpee's Best' pole lima beans in my garden. They are growing up on the 5' x 8' trellis you also sell. My question is, now that they have grown to the top of the trellis and beyond, should I snip off the continued growth allowing the pods to develop? The instructions for tomatoes state to snip off the tops to allow the plant to divert its energy to producing the fruit. Is it the same for lima beans? Thanks. Julie Burrell Niceville, FL

Answer: I envy your problem of your beans reaching the top of your trellis already, when here in Vermont the weather hasn't allowed us to even plant our beans yet. You can certainly prune back the growing tips of your beans if they look unkempt to you, but you don't need to do it to promote ripening. The practice is recommended for tomatoes because the fruits are large and need more energy for ripening than beans do. Better yet, why not lengthen the trellis, if possible, and see how high your plants will grow!

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