I live in a place without a clear division between seasons (USDA 9b-- no frost date, we will probably get a frost or three, but it's always very unpredictable). We are at the end of summer, but it's getting rainy and damp. My Christmas beans (big flat drying beans) are about half ripe (brown pods) but the others are still green. I desperately need the space in my little urban garden where they're planted to put in my winter crops, been waiting for a good 4 weeks and the pods just haven't dried up yet (and the leaves are now getting moldy).
Today I'm going to rip the vines out and put in my new plants, before they outgrow their own pots. I've read that if I store the vines the pods might ripen. This is also what I'm doing with my loofas, cutting off the fruit and hanging them under cover so they can dry (while I rip out the vines to replant).
Is this a pipe dream, or do you think I have a chance? I don't have a dry basement (although I have a dark, well-ventilated attic), I was going to hang the vines under the eaves of the house.
Sorry this took a while to reply, it wouldn't let me earlier. I do not have the climate for drying beans on the vine so I have this issue every year, two options I have used, one take the entire plant and hang it somewhere to dry out. For me this didn't work they just went moldy. Or take the pods off and leave in a window ledge to dry, removing the seeds as soon as the pods were "leathery" this did work, I then finished drying them in a dehydrator (my house was very damp) and stored in glass jars. They even germinated after!
Skandi, I think we all had problems with this yesterday!
Thanks both of you, I ripped them out and saved just the pods, put them in a well-ventilated spot to dry. Will make sure to turn them regularly. Good to know that it works!!
I've had success drying immature beans (& peas) as mentioned. The problem I encountered is that immature beans shrink to a very small size. Edible, but I'm not sure it was worth the effort. If I ever have a large immature batch they will become animal food instead of human food. Would not hesitate to remove them to use the space for more important winter crops though.
Argue for your limitations and they are yours forever.
Reporting back: I did rip the pods off the vines, all of them, and let them dry outside. Was careful to turn them every day. When the pods looked "openable" I took them out and opened them, the whole process took about 10 days. Very few were unusable and none molded.
Some of the beans were still kind of wet after taking them out of the pods, so I then took the beans and put them out in the sun (miraculously, we had a few days of sun). They all seem nice and dry and now the trick is to keep them weevil-free til I can eat them.
My loofahs are all drying with various degrees of success (losing a lot to mold) and now the waiting is focused on the passionfruit. I have SO MANY but none of them are yellowing up. At least I can just let them wait on the vines.
Morning came much too soon and it brought along a friend named Margarita Hangover, and a tiny ad.