Anyone know how to grow tepary beans? I acquired 2 packages of tepary beans this spring and eagerly stuck them in the ground--about half germinated, which is actually high for my yard with seeds I didn't harvest. One set (4 surviving plants) is in partial shade with good water. The other set (3 surviving plants) is in full sun with little water. Both are in sandy soil. Both were planted end of May. The one in full sun is just starting to blossom (first blossom seen this morning) so I assume part of the problem with the other set is lack of sun. Leaves are maybe an inch long at most, the plants between 6 inches and a foot tall. One of the whole bunch is starting to climb the fence.
I'm assuming at this point that it's a soil problem (most of my yard is a soil problem) but what do these things need to grow well? Deep rich soil isn't going to happen, but the only real information I can find about these (actual growing, not just a sales pitch) is in the PNW with deep rich soil and plentiful water.
Does anyone have experience with these? If I can get one generation to grow the next generation will be better, but I need to get that first generation!
Zone 5b/6a, alkaline soil, 12 inches of water per year. For now the goal is a water independent urban homestead with edible landscaping and food forest.
I grew them for a couple of years here in interior northern California. They are a southwestern thing and want heat....I did not plant them till full summer, probably June 1. Just average soil....heavy clay in fact. They are a legume so they don't need particular fertility, especially not nitrogen if they are inoculated. The beauty of them is that then needed only half, or less, of the water that other things, like "ordinary" beans. But being a green thing in a dry landscape made them a magnet for deer! And the yield per area planted was a bit disappointing, especially compared to the vigorous fava bean which can grow through our rainy winter and mature in early summer.