Growing Pinto Beans?

Discussion in 'Gardening and Agriculture' started by Linda61, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Linda61

    Linda61 Active Member

    Don't seem to be able to find seeds for pinto beans, doing a search then going to the website for the seeds, none seem to have pinto beans, lots of other legumes and suggestions. Have lots in long term storage but would like to be able to replenish if need be.
  2. CulexPipiens

    CulexPipiens Still waiting for the zombies.

    Couldn't you just plant a bit of what you have?

  3. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    We plant October beans or some call them dwarf horticultural beans in the place of the pinto.

    Thet are great. IMO ;) ... I can them each year and the purple pods, well they are like a ready to pick timer. :2thumb: Once the green pods turn (purple, some with a little white) they are also very easy to find.

    For me a very nice dry bean or great for canning.
  4. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Most pintos that you buy in the store are bush beans cuz then they can be mechanically harvested. If you like the ones you have now just plant them out and you are set. Most beans are self pollinators and so you don't have to much to worry about with crossing.
    I myself have found that I get more from pole beans. I like Rattlesnake pole bean and after I pick for green beans I let as many set as they can and the dry beans I get I pick out the biggest and best for replanting the next year and we eat the rest and I can say that they are just like pintos (but since they are home grown they tend to be a bit better) they cook up very fast cuz they are probably a bit fresher than store bought beans, but taste just as good.
    There is a down side to pole beans.. I can't just pull the plant and then just put the plants in a bag to thresh them, I end up picking all the pods after they turn brown by hand(my grand baby sure loves to help with this) and then we sit on the floor on an old blanket and hand shuck them while we watch tv in the evening. At least I don't have to worry about rocks in my beans like with store bought harvested beans.
    My favorite dry bean is still Speckled Cranberry it is a pole with big plump creamy tan beans that have a nice red speckle.. Think pinto but twice as big. Not as nice for green beans but I get quite a harvest from them for my dry beans.

    This year will be my first try with cowpeas tho, a friend passed me some seed and I am gonna grow them! I am hoping for a warm summer.
  5. Linda61

    Linda61 Active Member

    Thanks everyone for the info, I will go plant some now
  6. BasecampUSA

    BasecampUSA Sr. Homesteader


    Basecamp's Homestead experience and 2010 statistics about pinto beans...

    pinto dry beans... pinto shell beans... pinto green beans...

    We've planted Pinto beans here in Maine for several years. It's a cold climate and frost danger is usually gone around Memorial day till middle of September.

    We prefer Pintos -- even though they traditionally are a warmer western "dryland" bean, they do well here in the moist climate of coastal Maine too, and we often have dry spells in the summer that have killed off other beans, but the pintos have always yielded -hot, cold, wet or dry- no matter what!

    16 rows (60 feet long) of pinto beans were planted here last year:

    I simply used 3 pounds out of a 5 pound bag of Pinto beans right off the store shelf for this. The ground was rototilled with 2" of compost on top, a sprinkling of wood ash and ground limestone. The beans were moistened in a large coffee can and a 1/2 teaspoon of legume innoculant - (any seed store) -was mixed in immediately before seeding these, 1 seed every 3 inches and covering them with an inch of soil and patting down gently with a rake. They're up within 3 days of a rain and grow rapidly. THAT TOOK ABOUT 4 HOURS, WEEDING/CULTIVATING (TILL HARVEST) TOOK ANOTHER 4 HOURS

    What we have discovered from the past:

    Summer harvest: We pick some young beans for fresh "green beans" for the table when they are about 4" long. We also can pinto "green beans" instead of the other varieties. They even taste better than regular green beans! We don't even plant green beans anymore!

    When the pods are fully developed and begin to get "leathery" and the beans still moist and semi-soft, we will pick about 1/10 of the crop and hand shuck them to make shell beans to freeze or to can... nothing beats them with butter as a side dish. THAT TAKES SEVERAL HOURS, but it was worth it. We did it evenings while watching video movies, made the time go by fast.

    Fall harvest:When the plants turn yellowish brown and the pods are mostly fully developed and dry, we harvest them by simply pulling them all up by the roots and shaking off the soil, throw them on top of chicken-wire fencing laid on 2x4's on cinder blocks and let them dry for another 2 weeks in the indian summer warmth. Nights they are covered with plastic to keep the dew and rain off. THAT TOOK 2 HOURS

    When the plants are good and dry, we will take a dozen of them at a time and put them in a woven plastic feed bag on a table and hit them with a small toy baseball bat all over (10 good whacks does it), then we shake the bag to get the beans to the bottom and remove the lighter plant matter of the "threshed" pintos to put on the compost pile, and pour the heavier beans out of the bottom of the feed bag into an old wash tub. Some leaves and broken pieces of pods will come too. THAT TOOK ABOUT 1-1/2 HOURS

    When all the beans have been threshed this way, we winnow them by setting an old furnace blower or strong fan on a cinder block right in front of an empty wash tub and carefully let the beans and leaf/pod pieces drop into the tub in front of the strong breeze the fan/blower puts out. The beans will fall right down into the tub, and the leaf and pod material will blow over the tub on the ground. Takes a little practice but works good. THAT TOOK ABOUT 3/4 HOUR

    Out of the 16 rows @ 60' long, we were able to get just under 2 bushels dry pinto beans last fall, --not including the pinto "green beans" and the shell beans that were picked from the plants earlier.

    Opinion: for "survival farming" it will be worth it because you have no other choice, otherwise it's a lot of time invested, as 2 bushels of dry pinto beans will cost about $40 if you buy them bulk.

    The advantage here is that we had pinto "green beans" for the table, and canned 32 quarts of pinto "green beans", and 24 quarts of shell beans too. The shell beans were very labor intensive and could have been bought in the can at the store too.

    Pinto beans grew well here under all kinds of weather conditions when other beans didn't make it.

    That was a successful "survival" experiment, and that's what came out of it... hope someone can use that data...

    - BC
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011
  7. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

    Great post Basecamp!:2thumb:
  8. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

    Nothing tastes better than fresh pintos. We pick them before they start to dry out, and shell them out like butterbeans. I freeze mine after blanching and HOARD them. :D Still have one quart from year before last, that I will probably fix for Easter Dinner with my dad. We had been buying them and then shell and process, but no one around here grew pintos last year. So DH planted 2 100 foot rows in the garden for me and his oldest sister. But he wouldn't plant my beans out of the pantry. Thought they had had something done to them to keep from growing, and wouldn't believe me when I was insisting that all we needed to do was grab a bowl full out of the pantry.