The pinto bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is widely cultivated commercially. It is estimated that 1 acre will yield 900 to 2000 lb. beans according to the Texas A & M University. Pinto bean plants are often rotated every three or four years with crops such as cotton, wheat or corn. The bean plants require fertile soil conditions to thrive. The plants require that the soil maintain a temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate and produce high yields.
Planting of pinto beans can occur when the soil temperature is between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The most successful germination always occurs when the soil temperature is ideally between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Seeds are planted so three to four plants grow together every foot in the garden. The plants aid each in their upright growth habit by utilizing one another to climb. You will need for 1 acre of land, 60 to 80 lb. seed. Plant seeds 2 to 3 inches deep in the soil. Never plant seeds deeper than 4 inches.
Germination occurs in four to eight days after planting. Over the next 28 to 32 days the plant experiences a rapid foliage growth spurt. It places a great deal of effort into producing a large and abundant vine. Between 32 to 40 days the plant will produce an abundance of flowers. The plant flowers for 10 to 14 days before seedpods develop. Seed pods will not develop if the temperature exceeds 93 degrees Fahrenheit.
Seed pods mature 50 days after seeding. Complete drying of the pods does not occur until 70 to 90 days after seeding.
The beans require gentle handling during harvest since their outer coating tends to crack quite easily. Most commercial operations insure that all machinery is encased in plastic to protect the beans' delicate state. Both the bean and the pod must be completely dry before successful harvest can take place.