This is one of the most nutritious item among legumes. It is also known as asparagus bean or dragon bean. It is cultivated in Kerala as annual crop. It grows best in tropical regions.
Farming should be started during the months of August-September. Make beds with a diameter of 75cms and apply 4 kgs of organic manure (cow dung powder, chicken or goat manure) mixed with lime in it. Cover them. Sow 4-5 seeds in it. When saplings grow, keep 3 healthy ones, and remove the rest. If chemical fertilizers are used, apply 25 gms urea, 25 gms potash, and 100 gms rajphos. In the case of organic farming, along with 4kgs of organic manure, add 100gms of neem oil cake, 50 gms of bone powder and a dash of mussel shell powder. Mix them well in to the soil and cover the bed. By adding mussel shell powder, the acidity levels in the soil can be retained well. In the case of inorganic farming, after 15 days of vine growth, apply 50gms of factomphos, or apply jeevamruthum in the case of organic farming method. The vines need support to grow and hence a pole need to be erected. Pergolas or trellis is good as the vines can form a canopy. if there is no rain for 3 days, watering is compulsory.
Goa bean starts to bloom in 60 days of germination. Harvesting can be done in 4weeks’ time. It should be harvested before attaining full maturity as fully mature ones are hard to cook. The ones that turn ripe and brown can be saved for collecting seeds. P.T 62, 49, 16, 2, and Revathi are major varieties. Various outlets of Kerala Agricultural University in places like Mannathi, Vellayani distribute seeds of high yielding varieties.
Goa bean is usually safe from most of the pests. However nematodes and leaf eating bugs do harm the plant. Adding neem oil cake as basal fertilizer can prevent nematode worms from causing harm. Use a solution of birds eye chilli, garlic and neem oil or any organic pesticide to get rid of leaf eating bugs.
Goa bean is a good source of protien. It has 30 times the protein content in spinach and carrot, and 8 times in long beans and French beans. It is also a source of Iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and vitamins.