How To Grow Borlotti Beans

Written by: Lars Nyman

Growing Borlotti Bean

Growing Borlotti Bean

Gardening isn't only about growing beautiful flowers or nutritious fruits - it can also include growing beans! For those gardeners looking for a unique and tasty addition to their garden space, the Borlotti bean is a great option. With its unique flavor and impressively hearty texture, it is worth learning the tricks of successfully growing and harvesting them from your garden. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to grow Borlotti beans, or how you can create a new level of flavor to your family’s meals, then look no further! Keep reading to learn the tried and trusted methods of how to grow and harvest Borlotti beans from your very own garden- will your harvest be a success?

Borlotti Bean Growing Cheatsheet

Key Growing Information

🌱 Start indoors 2-4 weeks before last frost.

☀️ Plant outdoors after danger of frost has passed.

💧 Keep soil moist but not waterlogged.

⛅️ Requires 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

🌡️ Thrives in temperatures between 60-75°F.

Planting Basics

✋ Sow seeds 1-2 inches deep, 4 inches apart.

🌿 Thin seedlings to stand 6-8 inches apart.

🌱 Provide support like trellis or stakes.

Care and Maintenance

🌱 Mulch soil to retain moisture and prevent weeds.

💧 Water deeply every 7-10 days during dry spells.

🍃 Fertilize with balanced organic fertilizer monthly.

Harvesting and Storage

🌽 Harvest when pods turn pale green and firm.

📅 Usually ready for harvest in 70-90 days.

🕊️ Beans can be dried for long-term storage.

Health Benefits

💪 High in proteins, fiber, and essential minerals.

🌿 Promotes heart health and improves digestion.

🥘 Adds nutritional value to various recipes.

Fun Facts

🗺️ Originated in Central and South America.

🌍 Now widely cultivated around the world.

🌿 Beautiful mottled pods enhance culinary presentations!

Growing Borlotti Beans: The Basics

Borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans, are versatile and nutritious. They add a splash of color to your garden and palate.

These beans thrive in warm, sunny conditions. Ensure they're planted in well-draining soil for optimal growth.

Borlotti beans require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Preparation and Planting

Soil preparation is crucial for growing healthy borlotti beans. Till the soil and mix in compost to enrich it.

Plant borlotti beans after the last frost has passed. I usually do this in late spring.

Steps for Planting:

  1. Sow seeds directly in the garden, spacing them about 4 inches apart.
  2. Place them about 1-2 inches deep in the soil.
  3. Provide support for climbing varieties; a simple trellis works wonders.
"Direct sowing increases germination rates and robustness."

Watering and Care

Consistent watering is key. Borlotti beans need about 1 inch of water per week.

However, avoid overwatering to prevent root rot. Let the soil dry slightly between watering.

I found that a soaker hose or drip irrigation system works well to keep the moisture levels balanced.

Pest and Disease Management:

  • Watch out for aphids and beetles. Neem oil can be effective.
  • Practice crop rotation to minimize the risk of disease.

Always inspect the plants regularly. Catching issues early makes management easier.

Healthy plants often have fewer pest problems.

Harvesting and Storage

Borlotti beans are ready to harvest when the pods are plump and speckled. This usually takes 65-70 days.

Pick them before the pods turn yellow to capture the best flavor and texture.

Storing Borlotti Beans:

  • Fresh: Store in the fridge and use within a week.
  • Dry: Allow the pods to dry on the plant, then shell and store in airtight containers.
"Proper storage extends the shelf life and preserves flavor."

Growing borlotti beans is a rewarding experience. Follow these steps and you'll have a bountiful harvest to enjoy.


1. How do I grow Borlotti beans?

Plant Borlotti beans in well-draining soil, in a sunny location.

2. When should I plant Borlotti beans?

Plant Borlotti beans after the last frost date in your area.

3. How often should I water Borlotti beans?

Water Borlotti beans regularly, keeping the soil consistently moist.

4. Can Borlotti beans tolerate cold temperatures?

Borlotti beans are not frost tolerant, so protect them from cold weather.

5. Should I use fertilizer for Borlotti beans?

Use a balanced fertilizer at planting time and during flowering and fruiting stages.

6. How long does it take for Borlotti beans to mature?

Borlotti beans typically mature in 80-90 days.

7. How do I harvest Borlotti beans?

Harvest Borlotti beans when the pods are fully developed and have turned a rich, vibrant color.

Growing Borlotti beans is truly a rewarding experience! Every step of the process—from choosing the right variety for your area to planting and harvesting— can be incredibly satisfying. With some patience, knowledge, and a willingness to experiment, you'll find that your warm summer garden yields an abundant harvest of these beautiful, flavorful beans. You can follow recipes from around the world, or simply enjoy them as a side dish. With Borlotti beans, your garden will give you much pleasure, feeding your family and nourishing your soul.

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