Add pinto beans to the list of vegetables to grow in your garden.
image by dineshtilva: morguefile.com
Gardeners who enjoy growing beans have an extensive assortment of beans to choose from when planning a garden. Get creative and look past the typical bush and pole beans. For a tasty option that is also a little different, try growing pinto bean seeds in your growing space. You will know it is time to harvest the pinto beans because they will be dry on the bean plants.
Select a sunny location for growing pinto beans. Prepare the planting area in the spring when all threat of frost has passed. For best results, the soil temperature should be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Work the soil down approximately 6 inches with the spade prior to planting the seeds.
Create rows for planting. Make the rows 24 inches apart. Place the pinto bean seeds along the rows every 3 inches and plant each seed 1 inch deep. Water the bean seeds well.
Control weed growth carefully while the seeds are germinating and while the seedlings are small. Pull up all weeds by hand, being carefully not to disturb the bean seedlings.
Place mulch between the rows as a layer between the soil and any bean pods that may eventually touch the ground.
Give the bean plants regular water, especially during the time when the plants are flowering. Skip the fertilization with pinto beans because it is not necessary to fertilize beans. Legumes are so rich in nitrogen that they actually improve the soil in which they grow.
Watch for damp weather late in the season. If it is rainy during the time the pods are maturing, they may sprout while in the pods. If the weather is damp during this time, pull the bean plants after most of the leaves have died and hang the plants upside down in a warm, dry location while the beans continue drying. Remove the beans from the hanging area when they are mature as described in Step 7.
Check the beans to see if they are ready for harvest. Open a pod and look at the pinto bean. If it is very hard and you cannot dent it with your teeth, the beans are mature. Remove the beans from the shells and place in a large bowl. Pour the beans back and forth between two large bowls while standing in front of a fan to remove any remaining chaff.
Store pinto beans in sealed jars or in plastic food storage bags.