How to Grow a Lima Bean Seed


Lima beans, native to Central America, are a tasty addition to your home vegetable garden. Plant lima beans when the soil temperature is above 65 degrees F., usually about two weeks after the last frost date in your area. Planted from seed, lima beans mature and are ready to harvest 65 to 75 days after planting, according to Iowa State University. Lima beans grow best in full sun.

Step 1

Turn over the soil in your planting bed until the earth is loose and crumbly. Use a garden fork or a rototiller to break up the soil.

Step 2

Make holes 1 to 1 1/2 inches deep, using your index finger or a dowel. Space the holes 2 to 4 inches apart in rows 2 feet apart.

Step 3

Place one lima bean seed in each hole and cover with soil. Water the area until the soil is damp to a depth of 2 inches.

Step 4

Water every few days for a total water application of an inch of water per week per lima bean plant. It is best to water early in the morning, according to Purdue University's Department of Agriculture.

Step 5

Thin lima bean sprouts to a space of 6 inches after seedlings germinate. Transplant or discard the seedlings.

Step 6

Harvest lima bean pods when they are plump and bright green. Use a pair of sharp pruning shears to snip the bean pots from the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork or rototiller
  • Dowel
  • Water
  • Pruning shears


  • Iowa State University: Growing Lima Beans
  • Purdue University Department of Horticulture:Growing Beans in the Home Vegetable Garden
Keywords: home vegetable garden, growing beans, planting seeds, bean harvest, food garden

About this Author

Olivia Parker has been a freelance writer with Demand Studios for the past year, writing for Garden Guides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Parker is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts from Boston University Online.