2022 Little Easy Bean Network - We Are Beans Without Borders

Bluejay77

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In correspondence with a commercial grower, I was told that beans are more susceptible to cross-pollination during heat stress or drought. She kindly checked two of her reference books for isolation distances and found that "70 feet is usually sufficient but if you are looking for more assurance, they recommend 300 feet."
I think that everyone that grows and likes beans a lot doesn't grow only one variety or has the space to isolate their plants to completely prevent outcrossing. It's just something that we have to live with. I am lucky to have three main growing areas where I can if I want, grow only one growth habit type in each of my growing areas. But some outcrossing is always going to happen from time to time among the same growth habit. Since my early growing days I have always enjoyed finding interesting seed coat colors and patterns and trying to stablize them. I do also like to see the stable varieties stay the way they are.

I think what I am going to do with the Network beans when I send them out to the growers. I will put a statement printed on a seperate piece of paper that if they find a bean that is supposed to a true bush type and find any of the plants growing a runners. To cut out the plant with a hand shear to prevent outcrossing of a semi runner with other true bush beans they have growing. It will be difficult to probably impossible to prevent growers to grow only one type of growth habit beans.

In post #1,249 I said
All the outcrosses I've ever seen usually produce a mixed bag of plant types and seed coats. That was not correct for me to say that. Most outcrosses will do that. There are exceptions. I have had a couple of outcrosses, maybe three at the most the grew stable right from the beginning,

I looked up Pale Grey Lavender on my spreadsheet and saw that I got it from a fellow in Belgium. I do have it marked as a pole habit. I have written to him and asked what is the growth habit of the bean. Perhaps I was getting this beans seedcoat mixed up with another bean that has a similar looking seed. We will find out.
 

meadow

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makes perfect sense to me if by that it means that the pollinator species are doing a lot more work gathering nectar and pollen from fewer flowers.
It hadn't occurred to me that there would be fewer flowers... I was imagining rather limp flowers (kind of like me in the heat). 😅

I think in one of the old bean threads it was mentioned that the flowers are not so easily accessed by most pollinators, so bumblebees may be the biggest threat. But if the flower is sagging open, then (I'm guessing) it would be more vulnerable to the smaller pollinators too.

In my own garden(s) it is the resident hummingbird that consistently samples here and there throughout the garden. She stuck pretty close to Garden #1 until recently, but now goes between both gardens. I think it was the removal of the peas that made the difference.
 

Ridgerunner

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A third grow out will be the final proof that there was no odd genes waiting to make new combinations.
The recessives can be hard to get out. They are not going to show up unless they pair up. So in your third year especially when you are proving them you need to plant several beans to give them a chance to pair up.

When I can I try to save all the beans I'm going to grow from one plant, even if they all look identical. I think that minimizes the chance of carrying a recessive gene forward.

The third grow out is the second generation of the second year grow out. So you grow out each new generation of seed to do this. You don't go back and use any previous years seeds.
This is why when I grow them out I eat the previous seeds (as long as I get a decent harvest) and only keep each new generation's seeds. I keep the old seed long enough to compare it with each year's grow-out. To me that's better that photos and I sure can't rely on my memory.

Monster is hopeless (as a Monster should be i guess :) that was an interesting choice of a name i gave to that one and it should perhaps be a warning to name your new beans with code names instead until you really do know what they're like
It took me two seasons to learn that lesson and I wasted a lot of good names in the meantime. Now I consider everything a working name until it stabilizes and often use a code with that. An example:

One Will Bonsall cross I got from Russ was WB 27. When I grew it I got several segregations. I called one Raspberry Ripple. When I planted RR I named one of the several segregations Tallulahs Treasure. When I planted TT I named one of the segregations TTA. others B, C, and D. Planting TTA got me to TTA1, TTA2, etc. Each one of these is a different line. So now I'm up to "TTA 2A 3R" and "TTA 2B 1". That one just doesn't want to stabilize.
 

Bluejay77

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The recessives can be hard to get out. They are not going to show up unless they pair up. So in your third year especially when you are proving them you need to plant several beans to give them a chance to pair up.
When stablizing a bean you definitely want to grow out as much seed as you can. Gives you a bigger chance of accuracy and of catching any genes that still want to pair up that were not apparent in your original seed. Or I think more than 3 grow outs. You could probably grow out 15 seeds of your original seed that you found was all the same in one season then grow out another 15 seeds of your original seed in the second year and maybe 15 more seeds in a third year with your original seed and consider that one year of grow out of your original outcrossed seed. Might take you 15 years to get a 3 season reading on your original outcrossed seed.

When I find an outcross it can be maybe 15 to 20 seeds. Then plant 15 seeds to get an increase. Then start your 3 seasons of proofing a beans stability.
 

meadow

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What could cause a pole bean to grow as a bush?? 😲
@Bluejay77 Marshall posted about genetics in one of the old Network bean threads HERE. Using an example of crossing a tall pea with a short one, he said the F1 plants will ALL be tall because the tall gene is dominant.

However the next generation has different gene combinations than the first. 3 quarters of the F2 plants will be tall and 1 quarter will be short.

He said that, of the tall growing plants, 2 thirds will CARRY the gene for short and 1 third are pure tall (no short gene at all)... and you can only tell by genetic testing or growing them out.
 

Bluejay77

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I have looked and looked for the post where someone asked me if Bosnian Pole made a good snap bean. I would have loved to find the post, but I don't know who asked this question.

I picked three pods today that didn't look seedy and cooked them (3.5 inches). They were not stringy at all. However I personally would not use this bean as a snap bean. Even the pods that are filling out with seed look like they are probably about 4.5 inches long. Too short for me. I want snap pods at least a minimum of 5 inches and preferabley 6 to 8 inches. I would personally would use Bosnian Pole as a dry bean.

The following is part the write up on my website. "5 inch thick meaty stringless flattened pods".
 
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Zeedman

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It hadn't occurred to me that there would be fewer flowers... I was imagining rather limp flowers (kind of like me in the heat). 😅

I think in one of the old bean threads it was mentioned that the flowers are not so easily accessed by most pollinators, so bumblebees may be the biggest threat. But if the flower is sagging open, then (I'm guessing) it would be more vulnerable to the smaller pollinators too.
IMO pollen transfer in beans probably occurs to a much greater extent than crosses would indicate... but if all ovaries are already self-pollinated before the flower opens, crosses from newer pollen are unlikely. It may be that heat or water stress reduces or inhibits the normal self-pollination to some degree, increasing the susceptibility to crosses by pollinator insects. If true, that would mean that beans which are irrigated as necessary - or grown in cooler, moderate temperatures - would be less likely to cross.
 

Bluejay77

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Big News About Pale Grey Lavender Bean

I have heard back from my source for this bean in Belgium. He says the beans grows as a Semi Runner. His original source is from someone in Croatia.

I think I might have mixed up this bean in my mind with something else that has a similar seed coat when I said this bean grows as a pole. I found a photo of my 2020 grow out of the bean and it looks like I have my hand on top of a bush bean that has leaned over and am displaying the pods it's grown. I don't usually ever display the pods and take a photo of pole bean pods near the ground it's always usually further up in the vine somewhere. You can see in the photo my vinyl weed barrier fabric on the ground.

I am going to update the description on my website.


Pale Grey Lavender #2 - 8-5-20.jpg


 

meadow

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IMO pollen transfer in beans probably occurs to a much greater extent than crosses would indicate... but if all ovaries are already self-pollinated before the flower opens, crosses from newer pollen are unlikely. It may be that heat or water stress reduces or inhibits the normal self-pollination to some degree, increasing the susceptibility to crosses by pollinator insects. If true, that would mean that beans which are irrigated as necessary - or grown in cooler, moderate temperatures - would be less likely to cross.
That's a good point!

It is so rare for us to have hot weather that I doubt it is a concern for us. Well, except last year was crazy hot in June. But still, it is rare.
 

Triffid

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The Uzice Speckled Wax I have grew as a HUGE pole. Is this the growth habit you've observed too?
Here they're massive, too. Took a while to get going but they are now over 10ft and still climbing.

@Artorius I must commend Atlas, it is the earliest wax variety this year and one of the earliest out of all of the pole beans. The young plants got hammered by snails when I transplanted them, which severely stunted their growth but they still produced more pods than one could expect from their little vines. The weather has improved for only a couple of days but they are already taking off with a second wind. No more heatwaves expected for this season so I hope they can reach closer to their full potential before first frost.
 

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