Actually, I just planted them once and they keep reseeding around the food forest.
My kind of plant.
The beans are slightly toxic; however, I find that when cooked green in the pods in briny water the flavor is delicious – a lot like boiled green peanuts. They’re a natural testosterone booster as well as a mood lifted thanks to their dopamine precursors.
Just don’t eat too many.
Velvet beans are known to be an excellent nitrogen-fixer so I planted them in the lousiest and driest areas of my yard.
In rich conditions they grow rapidly and to great height, provided they have something to climb.
Check this out:
Impressive, eh? When you need some green cover, growing velvet beans will fit the bill. They shade the ground while adding fertility and biomass. Plus, since they freeze to death in the winter in areas with frost, you don’t have to worry about them eating your entire yard.
Since velvet beans are not frost tolerant at all, plant them in the spring after all danger of cold, then stand back and watch them ramble.
If you’re looking for seeds, I noticed this week that Grower Jim has some for sale, along with a nice profile on this excellent bean.
At some point I may offer some for sale – I have a boatload of them in my home seed bank – but not yet. Grower Jim is a good source for rare and beautiful plants and I’ve bought from him before. His blog is also an excellent resource – I recommend you check it out.
With all their benefits, everybody should be planting velvet beans in their gardens!
In Jamaica, where I grew up (until 11), this is called cow itch. It itches like crazy if the fine fuzz touches the skin. Do you have a different cultivar that doesn’t have this very detrimental quality? I was considering planting it until I realized it was cow itch! I’m in Ft. Lauderdale,
Yes, cow itch is the exact same species. We have it growing where I live in the tropics. The variety I grew in Florida – and that I recommend – has had those stinging hairs almost completely bred out of them. If you were to harvest a bunch of pods and get them on sensitive skin, you might get a little bit itchy. It’s nothing like the wild ones, though. They’re much, much friendlier.
So, how much is too much when consuming velvet beans? I’ve just planted the ones I bought from Grower Jim.
Hello, I want to know the exact time of planting velvet beans if I am to use it as a cover crop only. My main crop is maize. Planting date is usually end of December or early January.
Love em… It’s not just a magic bean…it’s a miracle bean….for me anyway… Thought I was getting Parkinson’s….had to drink alcohol to stop my shacking hands….”not any more”….and I just feel better all the time…. It took about a month of a tea spoon twice a day….but it works like magic ….very pleased…got my seeds in the mail today…gonna plant em now !!!!!!!!
David, I know I probably wont get the answer in time but will mucuna pods dry off of the vine if I cut them early? It’s Dec 1 in Central Florida and we’re going to hid the mid-30’s overnight and I’d hate to lose the seed pods I have on the vine.
Cut them early with some of the vine and I’ll bet they do fine. Or yank the whole vine up with the beans still on it and put the whole thing inside to dry down.
How long does it take for the Mucuna beans to germinate after planting?
Usually a couple of weeks.
Hi David, I planted black velvet beans as a nitrogen fixing cover crop for summer. Do I have to wait till they produce beans before chopping & dropping, in order to reap the benefits of the nitrogen enriched soil?
I already have a ton on beans from last summer so I’m not particularly interested in bean production. I’d like to start planting my fall crop of brassicas in mid-October. Just don’t know if I should wait till beans appear or can I chop it down & let decompose till mid-October? Thanks!
I think you can cut when you like. Should be plenty of nitrogen in them now.