2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

Bluejay77

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I had an interesting time tonight on the German seed bank website IPK Gatersleben. At one point I had looked through about 350 pages of their 564 page list of Phaseolus Vulgaris beans. So I decided to continue until I covered every single page. I ran accross a Robert Lobitz bean name Clarissa that I once had from someone on the west coast but the beans would not grow. I am going to see if I can obtain this bean from this German seed bank. I'm sure that no one in Europe would have come up with a bean and named it after Clarissa, Minnesota. I have emailed the seed bank tonight and will see if I am lucky enough to be able to obtain seed of this bean from them. Their website says the seed is "unrestricted available"
 

Bluejay77

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I exaggerate slightly, but not by much. Dry sunny spring, and only a handful of 'surface wetting' rains this summer that I can recall besides a couple thundery days with downpours. Regions in the south and east were especially dry, with southern England reporting its driest July on record in a series that goes back to 1836, with 10.5mm of rain, which is just 17% of its average rainfall. We had a dry April with 36% of the average rainfall at 19mm. Similar figures for March here in East Sussex.
So I was curious where East Sussex was located so I went to google to look it up. Is East Sussex the county where you live? You are definitely not far from water. Right on the English channel south and slightly east of London.
 

reedy

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Hello bean people. I've been absent for a while. Focusing mostly on other crops in my gardens past couple of seasons but chomping at the bit to dive into some new beans next year. I've got about thirty picked out just from the network pages, o my, that will have to be trimmed down a bit, just don't have that much space.

On the other hand, the woman here has been using the back garden for sweet corn and that soil needs an injection of nitrogen and how do you replace soil nitrogen if you don't believe in using fertilizer? BEANS! She has been noticing the tall posts at the ends of the planting beds and the semi-permanent trellis being built, what are they for? BEANS!

My beans this year are having issues right now. I've had a pretty good harvest of earlier ones already, but it's turned damp here for last couple of weeks just as a lot later ones are drying down. I've had some sprouting in the pods and some molding a bit. I much prefer leaving them on the vine until fully dry but have gone ahead and picked some that aren't quite there yet.

I planted a second crop of some of the earlier ones about a week ago from seed harvested a couple weeks before and they popped right up.
 

Triffid

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Welcome back @reedy. Fingers crossed for your second bean crop. You're definitely not alone in the overselection of network beans. 😰

You probably use a green manure already but I must sing the praises of yellow trefoil. It grows nicely between corn rows and keeps the ground well covered through autumn/winter/spring (depending on how cold your winters are). It also pairs well with climbing beans - dug in before the beans are planted to provide an N boost (or winter killed) and then re-sown between rows at the same time as the beans. I'm sure many other legumes would be good but yellow trefoil is non-competitive, keeping low and well-behaved. It makes a good habitat for ground spiders and ladybirds.
 

Jack Holloway

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Welcome back @reedy. Fingers crossed for your second bean crop. You're definitely not alone in the overselection of network beans. 😰

You probably use a green manure already but I must sing the praises of yellow trefoil. It grows nicely between corn rows and keeps the ground well covered through autumn/winter/spring (depending on how cold your winters are). It also pairs well with climbing beans - dug in before the beans are planted to provide an N boost (or winter killed) and then re-sown between rows at the same time as the beans. I'm sure many other legumes would be good but yellow trefoil is non-competitive, keeping low and well-behaved. It makes a good habitat for ground spiders and ladybirds.
Interesting, the North Carolina State Extension office says this about it, "This is an aggressive, weedy plant." Things can grow so differently in different parts of the world.
 

Triffid

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So I was curious where East Sussex was located so I went to google to look it up. Is East Sussex the county where you live? You are definitely not far from water. Right on the English channel south and slightly east of London.
That's right, actually pretty much in the middle of the two counties in the city of Brighton & Hove, on the border of East and West Sussex. So I'd say, as the crow flies, we're directly south of central London. I live less than 200m from the sea and the plot where I grow the beans is about 2.5km from the sea.
 

ducks4you

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@reedy, I have tried planting green beans before. 2022 is the First year I have been successful.
I planted bush beans below sweet corn this year, and they really do complement each other.
I could never understand planting Pole beans with corn, bc every storm knocks some of the corn over, and the weight of the bean vines would pull them over.
Bush beans don't do this.
Dunno where you live, bc you don't list it with your avatar, BUT, it might not be too late to plant beans with the corn this year FOR A HARVEST. It ISN't too late to plant beans for nitrogen fixing where the corn is/has been growing.
 

Bluejay77

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@ducks4you,

It's my understanding is when the first nations people grew beans and corn together. They had beans that had much lighter vines. I also wonder if the corn the beans were growing on were spaced farther apart allowing the corn plants to become much sturdier. Corn may have been planted three feet apart or some similar distance. Possibly they also didn't plant a lot of bean seeds around each individual corn plant.
 

ducks4you

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@Bluejay77 , I think you are right, BUT, how to duplicate that? :hu
I know this seems dumb, since Illini Sweet Corn was developed at the U of I in Champaign, and I live close by, BUT do you plant Illini Sweet? If so, Where do you buy it?
We used to have a general purpose Illini FS in Urbana. They sold vegetables, flowers and herbs, pots, etc. and stone for landscaping and they had a labelled garden seed supply. There were boxes made of plywood, with a hard plastic top at a 45 degree angle with scoops for each garden vegetable sold in small quantities. You would pick a small or large seed package, write what you wanted to buy in the front, scoop what you wanted and then they would weigh it for the price, and you paid and you took it home.
I had the VERY BEST pink coated sweet corn the year I bought from them. I didn't use all of the seeds, but even the next year, it seemed like I still had 100% germination.
Gone now, they just deal with big farmers.
 

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