These are ancient Asian legumes, commonly grown as a pulse or dried bean but also sometimes used fresh. They have been cultivated for centuries in China and Japan as well as other countries in the East. Adzuki bean nutrition is off the charts with loads of fiber and vitamins. The beans are fairly easy to grow but require a long season, so start them indoors in short season climates. Growing adzuki beans in the home landscape will help you harvest the health benefits of these small beans and add some interest to the family dinner table through their diversity.
In some climates that is not possible outdoors, so it is recommended that seeds be planted inside. Adzuki beans can fix nitrogen but they require inoculation with rhizobacteria. The plants don’t tolerate transplanting well, so start seed in compostable containers (such as coir or peat) that will plant directly into the ground. Plant seeds an inch (2.5 cm.) deep and 4 inches (10 cm.) apart. Thin the beans to 18 inches (45.5 cm.) apart when plants are 2 inches (5 cm.) tall. You can harvest the pods when they are green or wait until they turn tan and dry. Then hull the beans to harvest the seeds. The most important part of adzuki bean care and harvest is to provide well drained soil. These plants need consistent moisture but cannot abide boggy soils.
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