In the sub-tropical garden, winged beans are a good alternative for squash and zucchinis. They aren’t affected by powdery mildew and are quite easy to grow.

Winged bean

Small crisp pods that snap easily are the best for cooking

Trellis Needed

Winged beans need a trellis. The ones I am growing self seeded from a vine I had in last year, which I originally grew from seed.

Last year I didn’t write any notes about the time it takes for the vine to grow and for flowers to appear. This one self seeded. The vine come up in early Spring after the ground temperature had risen. It is in a great northerly facing location growing up the side of the carport. I strung some wire from two of the posts to give the winged bean something to hang onto.

The Green Wall

Over the spring and summer the vine grew and grew, practically making a green wall on the carport. But no flowers. I was starting to think that it was like one of those sterile passionfruit vines that don’t even produce flowers.

Green wall of winged bean

Part of the green wall

Finally some Winged Bean flowers

March heralded the arrival of the flowers. It only takes about 5 days from flower to picking the pods. Pick them when they are small and crisp. If you let them get too big they become hard and tough.

Winged beans flower profusely

The flowers don’t last long but look good while they are there

Winged beansĀ fruit prolifically and we have been enjoying them for 5 – 6 weeks now. There are bags of them in the crisper and friends have been receiving them as well.

Now that the night time temperatures are cooling, I have noticed that they take a little longer to flower and mature.

Cut them into bight sized chunks and and stirfry for a couple of minutes with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Great as a green vegetable substitue.