When is the best time to plant and harvest bush-type pinto and red kidney beans?
Wait until all danger of frost has passed to plant shell beans (Phaseolus). They produce best when grown in double rows (two parallel rows about 6 inches apart). Begin harvesting beans for cooking fresh as soon as the pods become leathery; this varies from about 65 days for small red beans to 80 days for larger kidney beans and pintos. To dry beans, allow them to mature until the pods turn tan, which usually takes 2 weeks longer. If a prolonged spell of rainy weather strikes while your beans are drying, harvest them and finish drying them indoors. Shell beans quickly become moldy in wet pods.
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