Purple Hyacinth – Picking

Q: When should we pick the pods of our purple hyacinth bean vine? How do we save the beans for planting next year?

A: I love the lavender flowers and eggplant-purple pods of hyacinth bean, Dolichos lablab. Each year, let the beans dry on the vine. Pick them after the first frost and shell the beans out of the crisp brown pods. Dry them for a few days on a cloth on top of your refrigerator, then put them in an envelope to keep until planting time next May.

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