Thin-skinned beans are delicious in soups
- Originates from South America
- aka Pepa de Zapallo
- Gold with crimson swirls
- Thin skins and soft interiors
- Fresh beans cook in ~35min
MORE ABOUT TIGER'S EYE SHELLING BEAN
(Phaseolus vulgaris) Also known as Pepa de Zapallo, the "Tiger's Eye" bean originates from South America and still remains quite popular in parts of Italy. These thin-skinned beans lend themselves to use in soups and refried beans as they are quite tender and have a tendency to fall apart when cooked. Grow them yourself and you'll appreciate how quickly they cook (~35 minutes from fresh shelled beans to the table-no soaking necessary.) Plants will occasionally send out short runners, but overall are bush-type. 80-90 days to harvest. 50 seeds/pkt.
CULTURE: Beans perform best in well-drained soil of normal fertility. Beans do not require supplemental nitrogen as they are able to fix their own, however a fall application of well-aged manure or compost will help to boost yields in poor soils. Avoid planting beans in low-lying or poor-draining areas as this can predispose seedlings to fungal diseases and damping off.
SOWING: After the danger of frost has passed and daytime soil temps average at least 60 degrees, sow seeds 4-6” apart in rows 24-36” apart. Avoid planting when cool, wet weather is forecast as this can increase the occurrence of fungal diseases and damping off.
TRANSPLANTING: Not recommended for beans.
SUPPORT: Bush varieties do not usually require support. For pole beans, a variety of support options are available. Simple tee-pees can be erected from inexpensive bamboo poles. Alternatively, wire or nylon clothesline can be strung across several posts to support an entire row. Our preferred method is to bend 16’ cattle panels into an arch, planting 4-5 seeds at the base on each side. This makes harvesting easier as the gatherer can stand beneath the arch and grab handfuls of beans hanging below.
INSECT PESTS: Mexican Bean Beetles and Japanese Beetles can be controlled using a simple homemade insecticidal soap solution. Pheromone-based Japanese Beetle traps can also be effective at minimizing damage to plants. Finally, selection of tolerant cultivars is important in areas with known insect issues.
DISEASES AND PROBLEMS: Consult your local extension office to determine which diseases are most common in your area. Site selection is key in keeping bean diseases at bay. Select well-draining sites that do not have a history of disease. Giving plants ample space will allow leaves to dry more quickly and slow the spread of disease. Remove plant debris in the fall and turn over soil to minimize disease carryover. Avoid planting beans in the same location for at least two years. During hot and dry periods, beans may stop flowering or may drop flowers. Pod production will resume once moisture has returned.
HARVEST AND STORAGE: Avoid harvesting beans in the morning before the leaves have dried or after a rain as this can spread disease. For dry beans, individual pods may be harvested as soon as they have begun to yellow. Alternatively, entire plants may be pulled once a majority of pods have yellowed. Allow pods to dry for about four days before shelling. Once shelled, allow to cure for another week. Place in an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place. Beans can be stored for several years under these conditions. If vacuum-sealed with a desiccant bag in the container, they will keep for up to 30 years.
SAVING SEEDS: Select disease-free plants that are true-to-type. Beans are inbreeding plants and therefore measures to control cross-pollination are usually not necessary. Pods are ready to pick as soon as they have begun to yellow. When a majority of pods have begun to yellow, pull entire plant and turn upside down to dry. After about four days, pods may be picked and shelled. Allow to fully dry for another week, then store in an airtight container at room temperature. If insects are a concern, dust seeds with diatomaceous earth before storing.