How to Grow Pinto Beans
Pinto Beans are an easy to grow bean. It is best known as a dried bean. But,
did you know that Pinto Beans can also be used fresh or frozen? Of course
Pinto Beans are oval shaped, medium sized beans. They are popular in Mexican
cuisine. These beans are loaded with cholesterol-lowering fiber and nutrition.
Pinto beans are a white bean, with red spots and swirling lines. They add
bright, appealing color to recipes.
Days to Maturity:
Plan on a minimum of 102 days to harvest, as dried beans take longer to reach
full maturity, and to dry inside of the bean pod prior to harvest.
Sowing Pinto Bean Seeds:
Plant pinto bean seeds outdoors after the last frost date for your area.
Follow the spacing directions on the packet. Bean seeds are big, making them
easy to space.
Tip: Soak seeds for 24 hours prior to planting, to aid in germination.
Water well after planting the seeds, and a second time to to four days later,
if there has been little or no rain. You can also side dress the rows with
general purpose fertilizer.
Important: Do not plant beans or other legumes in the same location
more than once every three years. Crop rotation is important for healthy
plants, and a big harvest.
How to Grow Pinto Bean Plants:
Grow pinto bean plants in full sun. They prefer rich, well draining soil.
The plants are heavy feeders. Add ample amounts of compost prior to planting.
Apply a side dressing of fertilizer at planting time, to give these plants
a fast start as soon as they germinate.
Ideal soil pH: 6.0 - 7.5
More on soil pH
Thin seedling to proper distance, as noted on the seed packet. Double rows
are common in home gardens. When using double rows, leave enough room for
the them to grow without the rows overcrowding each other. Overcrowding can
encourage plant disease, especially in wet weather.
Fertilize every two to three weeks with a general purpose fertilizer like
5-10-5, or 5-10-10.
Pinto beans plants need a constant supply of water. Water as necessary, to
keep the soil moist, not wet. Moisture extremes can result in malformed pods.
Try to keep the leaves dry as you water. This will help avoid fungus diseases.
Keep plants well-weeded all season long. A layer of mulch will help to keep
weeds down and maintain a more constant soil moisture level.
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Harvest Pinto Bean seeds when the pods are completely dried out. Pull open
a pod to see if the bean looks hard and dried.
Insects and Pests:
Most varieties of beans are susceptible to a variety of insects, most notably
beetles. They can be effectively treated with Sevin, and a variety of other
Bunnies love beans! Rabbits eat the the tender new leaves. If there are rabbits
in your area, a rabbit fence is not a nicety, it is a necessity. They will
devastate a row of beans in a hurry, eating the tender new leaves. As new
ones develop, they will come back for more.
Pest netting is effective for bunnies.
More on control of rabbits in the
Deer love to nip leaves of beans. If deer are a problem in your area, they
will be a problem with your runner beans. Fencing or
pest netting is the most effective control.
More on how to control deer in gardens.
Bacterial and wilt diseases are common among the Bean family. This plant
disease arrives with summer heat and humidity. This often occurs just before,
or during, the ripening of the crop. Fungicides are recommended in areas
of high heat and humidity.
Tip: Keep the leaves dry and allow more spacing between plants for
better air circulation.
Plant Problems - Diagnosis,
causes and cures for many common plant problems.
Beans are not a hardy plant. They are susceptible to cold and frost. Hold
off planting until a few days before all danger of frost is past. In the
fall, cover the crop on nights when the temperature is expected to go below
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