Tongues of Fire Bean is a unique heirloom variety that features striking green pods with crimson streaks on both the pod as well as the beans. This bean has also been known as the Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco, and Borlotti bean and is widely used in Italy and Tuscany in everyday cooking. It is often compared to the Topazio Garden Bean in appearance and the kidney bean in taste. This bush bean is an open-pollinated type and has 6-7″ stringless pods that can be enjoyed as young snap peas at 56 days from planting or harvested at full maturity for its large internal peas. The high-yielding bean has a determinate growth habit and will produce plants that can be from 15-18″ tall and each pod has 6-8 beans per pod. Tongues of Fire Bean is known for maintaining its excellent flavor when canned, frozen, or fresh and the sizable beans absorb flavor very well. When cooked, though, the beans will lose their coloration.
Beans should be planted in spring after the last frost has occurred. Beans will germinate best once soil temps have reached 65 F or higher. Optimal germination temperature is around 77 F. Seeds can require 8 to 16 days to germinate, depending on the soil temperature. For continual production, succession plant every couple of weeks throughout the spring and early summer. Plants will drop blooms or cease production in the heat of summer. Subsequent succession plantings may be made in late summer/fall, as long as enough time is permitted before the first frost date.
Direct seeding is recommended. Tongues of Fire Bean can be easily planted with a walk-behind planter like our Hoss Garden Seeder. We suggest using the #6 plate and modifying the hole size to fit the variety being planted. Beans can be planted relatively thick along the row and thinned to the desired spacing. To maximize garden space, consider using double-row spacing. For double-row spacing, rows may be planted as close as 6″ apart with 3′ spacing between double rows. For single row spacing, 2′ to 3′ spacing is recommended.
Tongues of Fire Bean Planting Information
Planting Method: direct sow
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1″
Seed Spacing: 3-4″
Row Spacing: 3′
Days to Maturity: 70