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Growing Asparagus Pea, also Winged bean

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Asparagus Pea in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 59°F and 68°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 10 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-11 weeks. Pick early, pick often.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Best grown in separate bed
  • Asparagus Pea plant (commons.wikimedia.org - Magnus Manske - CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Pod and flower

This low spreading plant has small trifoliate leaves, and deep crimson flowers are borne in pairs. Harvest pods when approximately 2.5cm (1") long. ( about 80 days) Asparagus pea is easy to cultivate. It needs average moisture, full sun, and ordinary soil. It needs a long growing season to flower and fruit properly, so start it indoors in cooler areas.

Only the pods are edible for Lotus tetragonobolus. The other asparagus pea is the tropical plant Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, also known as Goa bean.

Support with twigs to keep the stems off the ground. Protect from slugs and snails. Pick pods when small as they become hard and dry if left too long.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Asparagus Pea

Cook quickly by steaming and serve with just a touch of butter and they are said to taste like their namesake .

Your comments and tips

15 Jan 19, Daniel Pawlenko (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I grow winged beans in brisbane and its all set up with drip lines .It's very hot here and dry at the moment and I'm exspiriencing hard dark green beans at the moment. Does anyone know if this is from hot temps or not enough water. Kind Regards Daniel
16 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You will more likely have far better success planting in the early autumn to early spring. Trying to grow things in summer in S E Qld is a hard game in summer(HOT, WINDY, storms) - have a rest and work on building your soil up for March/April planting.
28 Oct 18, Phil M (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in the Adelaide region and my winged bean plant has just completed a massive burst of flowers and crop. This seemed completely out of season as it was planted at least a year ago, barely survived summer without flowering throughout, survived winter without a problem (which seems to contradict its need for higher soil temperatures), then in mid-August took off with growth and flowers. I've just cut it right back so is it possible it will start new growth and survive another season?
01 Nov 18, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Have a look at this article www.bbg.org/gardening/article/the_asparagus_pea
01 Nov 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I can't find if they are annual or perennial. Sounds like annual. Let them grow and see what happens.
10 Nov 18, Phil M (Australia - temperate climate)
After two weeks with regular watering, it has succumbed to nature, dried up and died, so it's definitely an annual. Contrary to what it states on the seed packet, I will not be starting off new seedlings until towards the end of summer and hoping for a repeat burst of flowers in late winter and early spring. Thank you also Liz for that article... what struck me in the comments section there was this from a Canberra grower.... 'I live in Canberra, Australia, and can report that I sowed some asparagus peas last spring. They didn’t produce much that season but, amazingly to me who had thought they wouldn’t last our winter here, they are flowering profusely and bearing fruit now, the second month of spring. And temperatures this winter got down to -7C!' This is very much how my own plants responded.
12 Oct 18, Robbie (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi, could I grow Psophocarpus tetragonolobus in Ashburton outdoors? if not should I grow them in the greenhouse? Thanks
15 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is normally grown in hot humid areas so if you like try the green house.
05 Feb 18, Elizabeth (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello god morning I leave in Sydney I buy Asparagus Pea in Bunning is that ok I plant in the pots or in the ground ......thanks
07 Feb 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Growing anything in a pot requires a lot more attention re watering and fertilizing regularly. And you would only produce a small amount of produce. Give it a go if you like.
Showing 1 - 10 of 84 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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