Lima bean seeds sprout quite easily, so it's not unusual to discover that the seeds have already split open if they were left in a warm, moist location. This doesn't mean the seeds won't grow; it just means the young plants will emerge a bit faster than usual. If you plant split lima bean seeds in the right environment quickly, you can still reap a harvest of the healthy vegetables in late summer.
Choose a location in your garden that receives full sun. Lima beans will grow in partial shade, but they will not produce as many beans. Examine the soil in the location you are considering after a hard rain shower to be certain excess water drains away quickly; lima beans will not thrive in overly moist soil.
Prepare the planting site by loosening the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Amend the soil with 2 inches of organic compost to add nutrients and increase acidity.
Use your finger to dig a small a trench the length of the row you are planting. Plant the split lima bean seeds 1 1/2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Make certain the cracked area of the seed is pointing upward when planting. Pat the soil down gently over each seed.
Water the seeds until the soil is well moistened but not soggy. Continue to add approximately 1 inch of water each week unless there has been significant rainfall.