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Snake bean        

Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis

'Snake bean' is a plant in the Vigna genus with a scientific name of Vigna unguiculata sesquipedalis. The botanical name epithet for Snake bean (unguiculata) means 'furnished with a claw'.

A vigorous climbing annual> The plant begins to produce long pods, ranging from 35 to 75 cms 60 days after sowing. The pods hang in pairs that should be picked for vegetable uses before matured. The snake bean is a subtropical/tropical plant and is widely grown in Southeastern Asia, Thailand and Southern China. It is a very interesting plant to grow – you almost need to check/harvest long beans everyday because they grow very quick in warm climates. It is, however, sensitive to the temperature and grows relatively slow in mild/cold environments. Like growing common beans, it is recommended to rotate the planting locations every year for getting the best results – do not repeat planting at the same spots within 3-4 years. Edible pods are very crisp, tender and delicious. Long beans are cut into shorter sections and cooked like common green beans. There are many varieties grown and they are generally identified by the color of the matured seeds.

Source: Evergreen Seeds

Blooms appear in these approximate colours:   White smoke and   Bright lavender and   Dark pastel purple. When ripe, fruit appear in these approximate colours:   Yellow-green and   Grade 1 Paint Green. Leaves appear approximately as a   Napier green and   Yellow-green colour. Snake bean grows as an annual and is an edible vegetable. Being an annual plant, it tends to grow best over the course of a single year. Normally growing to a mature height of 2.00 metres (6.50 feet), Snake bean grows with a climbing habit. Some varieties of Snake bean you may like to consider growing are: Chinese Red Noodle, Dwarf, Red seeded, Brown Seeded and Black Seeded.

Snake bean is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Snake bean have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Snake bean

  • Full Sun

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  • High

Culture: In the Northern Territory snake beans are planted as seed into slightly damp and warm soil with 1-2 seeds in each planting hole or “hill”. After sowing, water should be withheld until germination has occurred (3-5 days). The planting bed should be mounded if waterlogging during the season is expected. The planting is usually into single rows about 3 m apart with 30-60 cm between “hills”. The plants are encouraged onto trellises.

In the Northern Territory snake beans will benefit from extra organic matter added before planting via either a green manure crop or an application of animal manure. This organic matter should be well broken down before planting. An application of NPK fertiliser and calcium just before planting can also be used as well as further applications of fertiliser (either urea or NPK) during the season. However care must be taken to not over-supply nitrogen as that can lead to excessive growth and reduced yields.

Snake bean yields also decline if water is under-supplied so care must be taken to keep soil moisture high.

Pests and Diseases: Rusts, mildews and some viruses can seriously affect snake beans though in the main they are only mildly susceptible to most fungal diseases. However in the Northern Territory fusarium wilt is becoming a very major problem, as are root-knot nematodes. The vectors for most viral diseases (aphids and white flies) can also cause problems.

The major insect problems for snake beans apart from those mentioned above are cutworms, bean flies and mites.

Fruiting Season: Seed germination occurs within 3-5 days of planting with flowering starting in the fifth week after sowing. Fruit can be harvested two weeks after first flowering. Depending on crop health and harvest intensity, plant senescence starts 6-8 weeks after sowing with plant death usually within four months of sowing.

Harvesting: This can start within seven weeks of planting. The best harvest stage depends on variety and market requirements however the fruit are normally picked when the outline of the seeds is just
visible on the outside of the pods. When picking, all suitable pods should be removed as pods that are allowed to fully mature (ie: pods are hardened and seed swollen) will exhaust the plant. Picking should be done at least twice a week though in hotter climates picking may be required more frequently.
http://www.nt.gov.au/dpifm/news/index.cfm/2007/7/26/Snake-Bean—Fact-Sheet—VF7”;:

A full sun position will ensure your plant thrives and remember to water often. Zone 11 to 14 are typically the USDA Hardiness Zones that are appropriate for this plant (although this can vary based on your microclimate). Ideally plant in sandy soil and try to keep the ph of your soil between the range of 5.5 and 7.5 as Snake bean likes to be in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil.

Growing Snake bean from seed

Aim to sow 0.39 inches (1.0 cm) deep and try to ensure a gap of at least 3.9 inches (10.0 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 15°C / 59°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Snake bean

Companion plants for Snake bean

These plants have been known to grow well alongside Snake bean so consider planting:

Repellent plants for Snake bean

These plants will not grow well with Snake bean so avoid planting these within close proximity:

Common Snake bean problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Snake bean plants:

Snake bean Etymology

The beans on this plant grow very, very long. 12-36 inches long! Most of its common names refer to the long length of the pod.

Other names for Snake bean

Cow bean, Yardlong bean, Long-podded cowpea, Asparagus bean, Chinese long bean, Dau gok, Thua fak yao, Kacang panjang, Vali, Eeril, , Yardlong bean, chinese long bean

Snake bean care instructions

How long does Snake bean take to grow?

These estimates for how long Snake bean takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!

Footnotes

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