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How to Grow Lupini Beans

Lupini beans are the seeds of any plant in the Lupinus genus, which contains up to 600 species. The common name "lupini bean" typically refers specifically to the seeds of the yellow lupin, or Lupinus luteus. This plant is commonly known as the yellow lupin and originates from the Mediterranean basin. Lupini beans are commercially valuable as feed for livestock and they are also edible by humans.

Check your U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone. Lupini beans are hardy in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8, meaning lupini beans grow in areas where the minimum annual temperature is between minus 20 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Select a planting site for lupini beans. This plant can grow well in partial shade to full sun. It grows best in rich loam, but can tolerate soil with some sand or clay. Lupini beans can tolerate a soil pH from 4.5 to 7.5, and do not typically require you to modify the soil pH.

Loosen the soil to a depth of 18 inches with a rototiller in the spring after the last expected frost. Mix 2 inches of organic compost with the loosened soil. Plant the lupini beans 1/2 to 1 inch deep and space them 2 inches apart. Space the rows 18 inches apart.

Cover the lupini beans with soil. Apply a solid fertilizer after planting according to the manufacturer's instructions. Water thoroughly to soak the fertilizer into the soil.

Water the lupini beans with 1 inch of water per week during the growing season. Remove the weaker plants as they grow to attain a final spacing of 1 foot between plants. Harvest the mature lupini beans after the flowers die in early fall.

Grow Lupini

Locate lupini in a section of your garden that is in shade for part of the day, which will help keep it cool when the temperatures are hot. Break up the ground with a tiller so that it is loose. Lupini beans prefer a soil pH level between 4.5 and 7.5. Plant one lupini bean seed every two inches in a row, so that each seed is approximately three-fourths of an inch deep. Cover the seeds with soil. Lupini beans do not like a lot of water, and it is better to slightly underwater than to over-water.

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