Pinto Bush Bean
Seed Count: Approx. 15 Seeds
Days to Maturity: 95 days
Bush variety, Snap/Dry shelling bean
Description: The Pinto Bean is quite possibly the most consumed dry bean in North America. These yummy beans are most commonly used to make refried beans, but taste great in chili, and soups. The beans are light beige/tan in color and speckled with red-brown mottling. The 4-6 inch pods are edible when young, and will produce 5-6 beans per pod, if allowed to fully mature. Pinto beans are super easy to grow, and have a long storage life of 5 years. This variety grows in a bush habit with half runners, about 20 inches tall, so a small support system may be beneficial to help keep your plants upright once they're heavy with beans. Plus, it does well in hot areas, small spaces and containers, and in full sun.
How To Grow
Sowing: Sow in average soil, in a sunny location, after the soil has warmed, as seeds may rot in cooler soils. Sow seeds 3 inches apart, in rows 24 inches apart, and cover with 1 inch of soil. Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions. Thin to 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2" high. Beans do great companion planted with beets, carrots, and cucumbers. However, avoid growing near all members of the allium family, and sunflowers.
Growing: In dry weather, keep soil well watered. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Make sure foliage has time to dry in order to reduce disease. Do know that this plant can get scorched with intense heat. These beans grow in a bush habit with short runners, and shouldn't need support. However, you can support them if they grow too heavy for themselves.
Harvesting: To harvest, pick pods when young and tender for the best taste and tenderness. Check vines often since this is a very productive plant. By picking often, you are encouraging more bean production. Fresh beans are best used immediately, but will keep in the fridge for several days. To save seeds or harvest dry beans, allow the pods to mature fully and dry on the vine. If frost or rainy weather threatens before your beans are dry, pull the plants and allow them to dry indoors. They should be completely dry 10-15 days later. Remove the seeds from the pods by hand, and store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 3 years. These beans will also freeze well, if blanched first.