My family loves these beans stir fried in little oil with onions, tomatoes and garlic. I highly recommend trying to grow these beans in your garden as they are very productive and resistant to pests. Asparagus beans are plants which produce slender, very long pods that have a delicious nutty flavor. It is also known as Yard Long Beans, Chinese long beans, Snake beans, Bora and Bodi in some parts of the world.
Asparagus Beans or Chinese Long Beans
These plants grow very long and need trellis for support and to climb on. We used three rebars staked firmly into the ground with garden thread entwined to provide support for the bean plants.
The rebars are 6 feet in height and can be bought at your local garden or hardware store. To prevent rusting, you can paint the rebars. Another option would be to use bamboo sticks instead of rebars for staking and providing support to your bean plants.
Use a nice trellis
We sowed our seeds directly outdoors in the month of February. We used a 16 inch container large enough to hold 10 gallons of soil and enough for six to seven plants evenly spaced out. Soak the seeds overnight so they absorb lot of water, the germination rate is good if the bean seeds are soaked prior to sowing. We used standard potting mix with a slow release organic fertilizer added in for providing nourishment to our plants.
In the month of March, you will see the seeds have germinated, germination days for yardlong beans is anywhere between 7 to 10 days. Around May, the bean plant will start producing flowers which will eventually turn into bean pods. If you notice, the leaves are slightly shriveled as we had a much cooler March in our area. So you may want to wait until April or May to start your seeds. Once the temperatures get warmer the bean plants grow vigorously and sprawl over the entire trellis area.
Asparagus Beans growing
By July, our first bean pods were ready for harvest. Pods should be picked before they reach full maturity, if you wait for a longer time, the pods would grow thicker and will taste rubbery. If you have a few pods that have matured and look thick, you can harvest the bean seeds from the pods and use them in your dish or prepare a delicious bean dip with it. Asparagus beans tastes nutty and flavorful and are loaded with vitamin A, C, thiamin, riboflavin, iron, phosphorus, folate and magnesium.
Asparagus Beans Harvest
You can keep harvesting as long as the plants are growing. They are heavy producers and produce pods until frost. It is a good idea to fertilize your plant to provide enough nourishment throughout the growing season, we used lot of liquid fertilizer in the form of compost tea, every 3 weeks, to supplement growth.
You can make vegetarian stew with beans, tofu, eggplant or you can sauté chopped beans with some turmeric, pepper, ginger garlic, onion and serve with tortillas or rice or even make delicious bean dips.
Follow along on our journey to grow this wonderful vegetable in containers: