The bean is an annual plant, with a well-developed root system composed of a taproot with many ramified secondary roots that are closer to the surface. The stems are thin, quadrangular in section and sometimes with purple stripes. Its leaves are alternate, asymmetrical and with a puffed surface. The color of the leaves can be green, yellow, dark green or purplish. The fruits of the bean are called pods and can have a very variable size, both in width (8-25mm) and in length (60-220mm). The texture of the pods also serves for their classification, and depends on the variety of the crop.
In Spain, the bean crop covers some 9,300 hectares, with an approximate production of 17,000 tons of Judays. Although the cultivated area has been reduced, its production has remained more or less constant thanks to the increased efficiency of the crop. The region where most bean in Spain is grown is Andalusia.
Beans are not very demanding on the type of soil, although they prefer a light soil to facilitate their root growth. They prefer slightly acid soils to alkaline ones. They are sensitive to waterlogging, so a sandy and loose soil, although with enough organic matter, is optimal for their growth.
It is a typical summer crop, so it needs high temperatures of 18ºC for the fruit to ripen. It is especially sensitive to cold, not germinating at less than 8ºC and even being able to die in case of excessive cold.
During sowing it is important not to water, but having the soil already watered facilitates the development of the plant. Once the seedling has a certain development, the first watering can be done. The crop is especially sensitive to the lack of water in the flowering period, so it will be necessary to ensure a correct watering in that stage.
There are many varieties of beans in Spain, each one adapted to its climatic zone and with different characteristics in relation to the shape of the fruit (spherical, elongated, flattened, elliptical, cylindrical ...) and with the color of the seed (red , black, white ...). In general, we have the varieties Redonda blanca, Montxa incarnated, Borriol, Ramet, Reina belga, Pinet and De león.