2021 Little Easy Bean Network - Bean Lovers Come Discover Something New !

meadow

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My first year doing network beans was last year. Wettest july i can remember, I guessed and saved 3 ish seeds per variety, for identification purposes at harvest in an event of a mix up, and replant holes from unemerged beans as well. I wasnt really sure the yield output one plant of these unknown to me varieties could make, after reading many posts on here one plant could easily get 60 beans if i knew how to plant them correctly! I am hoping the adjustments i will make based on everyones great suggestions will increase yield!
Yes, there is so much good information here! I feel very fortunate to have such knowledgeable advice/guidance beforehand so there is less chance of making rookie mistakes.
 

meadow

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My recommendation would be to start 1/2 of each as transplants - one seed per pot - which will ensure that you get the most out of each seed. That will also act as a germination test, so you know how much TLC might be required for the remaining seed, should the first planting fail. I follow that procedure for all small seed samples, especially if I don't know the age of the seed.
Assuming the first planting is off to a good start, would you hold onto those remaining seed until the next year, or go ahead and plant them?
 

flowerbug

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Assuming the first planting is off to a good start, would you hold onto those remaining seed until the next year, or go ahead and plant them?

usually i'm out of space too soon as it is, so if what i plant to start with is doing ok that's fine to be left and i'll keep the seeds back, because, deer do trample some things here or the bunnies can raid or ...

also if i'm keeping a seed for id purposes i won't plant that one because i know not to trust myself to distinguish it later if i've kept it to begin with.
 

Ridgerunner

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Assuming the first planting is off to a good start, would you hold onto those remaining seed until the next year, or go ahead and plant them?
If they are off to a good start that takes a lot of pressure off. Stuff can still happen but with unknown seeds germination is pretty important. If they germinate well this year they should do OK next year so you have options. Except in rare circumstances I direct seed. A couple of times I've had a disaster with that, not due to the seed but the weather when they were germinating. Russ had a problem with that this year. Stuff happens.

Why are you growing those beans? If you are just renewing seeds you probably don't need to plant any more. In most years you'll get plenty. Maybe not enough to try cooking those specific beans but at least enough to renew seeds. Weather or critters can still get you. Especially if it is a rare variety and they germinated well holding some back for next year if needed might be a good strategy.

I find that productivity can vary depending on where I plant them and to a certain extent when I start them. That might be a reason to start them at different times and plant them in different places. Seed quality can vary too. The colors and even patterns can vary depending on the soil they are grown in. Some beans may be shriveled instead of fully filled out. These might be arguments to try them in different spots at different times.

If you don't plant those others, what will you grow in that space instead? For some of us space is very valuable, for others not so much.

To me it's not always an easy decision. When I was in Arkansas and growing network beans for Russ I had a lot of room. I planted two different batches of each variety at two different times, after the first had germinated. After moving down here room is precious. And I'm no longer trying to renew seeds. I got some crossed beans from Russ several years back and I'm trying to get some to stabilize into a new variety. So I only plant one spot of each segregation I plant.
 

Zeedman

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Good advice above, with which I concur. It's always a good idea to hold some seeds back, especially if the seed can't be easily replaced. Even after germination, weather or critters can destroy a planting without warning, at any stage of development. I lost one bean after germination last year, and Russ lost even more. As @Ridgerunner stated, stuff happens... and when it does, its nice to have a little backup as insurance.
 

meadow

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I was thinking about the advice given here while working in Garden #1 today (this is the elevated one where the Network beans will go... oh my gosh you guys! The ground was already perfectly workable, even with all of the rain that we've had!) Anyway, I saw a shallow mole tunnel right across a future bean bed. That really drove home the wisdom of holding back some seed! Thank you again!
 

flowerbug

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I was thinking about the advice given here while working in Garden #1 today (this is the elevated one where the Network beans will go... oh my gosh you guys! The ground was already perfectly workable, even with all of the rain that we've had!) Anyway, I saw a shallow mole tunnel right across a future bean bed. That really drove home the wisdom of holding back some seed! Thank you again!

a mole will not eat the plants, but may disturb the soil enough to upset germination or growth, if i catch them soon enough i just step down the tunnels.

voles, mice on the other hand...
 

meadow

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a mole will not eat the plants, but may disturb the soil enough to upset germination or growth, if i catch them soon enough i just step down the tunnels.

voles, mice on the other hand...
True. I wasn't thinking about the moles eating the plants, but the disturbance/damage caused by the digging. Voles go into the tunnels too.
 

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