ECHOcommunity Conversations

Cover crops as green manure

#1

Is jack bean the same as macuna? I planted jackbean in a maize field climbs and wraps the maize but from a video on macuna it creeps on the floor.Any explanation?

#2

They are different species.

Jack bean is Canavalia


“…short days encourage bushiness, long days produce vining up to 2 m …”

Velvet bean is Mucuna


“…Vining forms of velvet bean grow rapidly, with climbing or trailing vines 6-8 m long…”
There are also non-vining types.
“…Plants of vining types grow over a longer period of time than non-vining types…”

#3

Yes! They are different.

Jack bean will sometimes wrap around maize, but it’s not a vigorous climber and should not pull maize plants down. It is more erect/bushy in it’s growth habit. Here are a few photos of jack bean:

DSC09585

Mucuna (also called velvet bean) is a much more vigorous climber, and may very well break maize stocks. ECHO does offer one bushing variety of mucuna, but it does not produce as much biomass typically as the vining variety. Here are some photos of mucuna/velvet bean:
These are seeds of some different types of mucuna. Left is tropical mucuna. Middle is black mucuna and on the right is the bushing variety.




Climbing some irrigation…
Taking the vines off of the maize is time-consuming, but we did try it once with some success:

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