Red Chili Bean
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Matures in 90 to 130 days
Dwarf variety that forms a bush about 24 inches tall
Planting companions: Cucumbers, celery, and strawberries
Poor companions: Onion, garlic, and fennel
Red chili beans are shelling beans, meaning only the seeds inside the pod are consumed. They have a pronounced taste and texture that can be enjoyed fresh or dry but always well-cooked. They are a key ingredient in various recipes, especially in chili.
Since beans don't tolerate transplanting well, plant your red chili bean seedlings directly in the garden in rich, well-drained soil at a depth of 1 ½'' and spaced 6'' apart. You can soak your seeds overnight to aid germination. It's preferable to orient the eye of the bean downward when planting. Germination can take 8 to 14 days. Ensure good airflow between your bean plants by spacing your rows at least 2 feet apart to prevent moisture from causing rot in your plants and potential harvests.
Beans, in general, appreciate warmth, so avoid planting them too early as the seedlings may rot in cool, damp soil. Attach black tarps at the base of the plants to retain heat if you are in a cold region.
For harvesting, you can pick them when they are still green and immature, but most gardeners will wait for them to dry on the plant for preservation. To expedite the drying process, you can uproot the entire plant and hang it in a dry place away from direct sunlight.
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