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How to Grow Pinto Beans

By Joyce Starr ; Updated September 21, 2017

Pinto beans are members of the same family as all beans: Phaseolus vulgaris. Pinto beans are medium in size and oval-shaped, usually having darker spots on the beige bean. They are good beans to grow if you live in a hot, arid area because they are drought tolerant. Pinto beans are dry beans and usually give higher yields than their green cousins give and you can harvest them fresh or dried. Growing pinto beans will not be that difficult providing you following the planting requirements and needs of the plant.

Wait until the weather warms and all signs of frost have left your area. It is best to plant pinto beans when the temperature have reached at least 60 degrees. Pinto beans are warm weather crops.

Prepare the planting area by removing any grass or weeds that may be growing there. Pinto beans will not grow well if they have to compete with other vegetation growing around them. If herbicides were used to kill the grass and weeds, wait at least several weeks before placing the seeds into the ground.

Add organic material to the planting area such as peat or compost and mix in well. Pinto beans need nitrogen at their start to grow best. Be sure the soil drains well, as pinto beans will not tolerate soil that holds water and the plants will rot.

Prepare mounds to plant your pinto bean seeds into, spaced approximately 1 foot apart. Place each seed into the ground at a depth of 1 inch and space each seed 3 inches apart.

Place mulch around the bean plants to help reduce the infestation of weeds and to keep the soil moist. It will also keep the pods touching the ground from rotting.

Water your bean plants once to twice a week with 1 inch of water. Too much water can lead to bean pods that produce few beans and are malformed. Water your pinto bean plants early in the morning and not late in the afternoon.

Fertilize the plants moderately with a 5-10-10 fertilizer, after the bean plants begin to flower. Apply the fertilizer on the side of the row, not getting any of it on the foliage. Use a light application of water to work the fertilizer into the soil.

Harvest the pinto beans when the pods become plump and full and the pods are still green, if you want fresh beans. Stop watering the plants two weeks before harvest, when the pods begin to turn yellow, if you desire to harvest dry beans. Depending on the variety, pinto beans can mature anywhere from 90 to 150 days.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Peat
  • Fertilizer

Tip

  • Store fresh pinto beans in the freezer inside of a plastic bag, if you do not cook them right away. Store dried pinto beans inside of a plastic container or a jar and place in a cool, dry area.

About the Author

 

For over 25 years, Joyce Starr has owned businesses dealing with landscape & design, lawn maintenance, specialty herbs and a garden center. She holds certificates in landscape design and xeriscaping. Starr shares her passion for nature in her writing, publishing articles on horticulture, outdoor recreation, travel as well as business.