2023 Little Easy Bean Network - Beans Beyond The Colors Of A Rainbow

heirloomgal

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It's amazing Canadian growers of Bird Egg Blue say the bean is late as it is also here. However Canadian growers grow such nicer looking seed that I seem to be albe to grow here. I don't know what it is I'm doing wrong with this bean.
Maybe try transplants? I was quite surprised with the maturity it had this year; when I grew it before it was one of the very latest beans, if not the latest. But this year - though it's still a later maturing bean - I had many others which were not yet mature when these were fully dried up.
 

Zeedman

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Runner bean "Tarahumara Tekomari". Did pretty well this year, the late freeze improved the yield. 24 ounces of seed, and a lot of shellies. I've been selecting the lima-like gray seeds from the original multi-colored land race. This is the 3rd generation, the recessive white flower & seed has been almost eliminated - only one white-flowered plant, rogued out while still in bud.

The first photo below is of my first grow out; the 'red' seeds were actually purple before aging. Although the seeds were sent to me in trade, the trader told me the original source was Native Seeds/SEARCH. I inquired as to whether the seed I received was crossed; the second photo is what NS/SEARCH sent me in response. Presumably they came up with the name some time later.
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The other runner bean this year was "Tucomares Chocolate". It was grown in the rural garden, and choked by weeds & volunteer tomatillos until August. Normally one of my most productive runner beans for seed (the last grow out yielded over 6 pounds) but half of the plants died, and the remaining plants only produced 12 ounces of seed. This one is worth growing just for the flowers.
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Zeedman

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Because my home gardens & rural garden are 6 miles apart, I can grow 2 runner beans & 2 limas for seed without crossing.

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Lima "Berrier's #2", pole. Beautiful mid-sized seeds, and very productive. Harvested over 5 pounds of dry seed, and froze or gave away about half the crop in shelly stage. But I experimented with pairs of plants at 24" spacing rather than single plants, and the vines were noticeably less vigorous. The philosophy behind the pairs is insurance in case a plant is lost; but I've never lost a lima transplant... so back to single plants.

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Lima "Sieva" (a.k.a. Carolina), pole. The earliest pole lima I grow, and normally one of the most productive. But it was grown in the rural garden; and although the row was weeded early, it was not well watered due to heavy weed growth in the adjacent area. Had A LOT of culls & under-developed seeds, at least 25%... and they need one last sort before I put them away. Still, was able to harvest 3 pounds 8 ounces of dry seed, which was the best bean yield from the rural garden - and a bucket of shellies just before frost. These too were planted in pairs this year, and were likewise noticeably less vigorous than when grown as single plants (which may have contributed to the high percentage of culls).
 

heirloomgal

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It's amazing Canadian growers of Bird Egg Blue say the bean is late as it is also here. However Canadian growers grow such nicer looking seed that I seem to be albe to grow here. I don't know what it is I'm doing wrong with this bean.
Something occurred to me last night about this @Bluejay77 - have you ever tried using azomite? I have a theory that beans are uniquely sensitive to mineral presence in soils, and the bean agronomist literature forwarded to me a few years ago by the agronomists seems to suggest that too. Not well formed seed is often thought to be caused by excessive heat or inadequate water - and it may be in some cases - but personally I'm more inclined to believe it's minerals. Beans are known, from a health point of view, as containing a rather high level of micronutrients in their dried state. But they can only contain those if they're present in the soil - I know there are studies published online re: mineral percentages in different bean varieties - and they can vary a lot. Perhaps certain bean types are more mineral 'needy' than others. A sprinkling of azomite might help? And it's not terribly expensive stuff.

Interestingly, when I see seeds that are not formed as well as I know that they could be, it's always tied to a certain location in my gardens - in the late afternoon shade of a big pine tree. So for me, any wrinkled seed is caused by inadequate exposure to sun. The soil in that area is actually more moist than anywhere else.
 
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heirloomgal

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An interesting study - apparently, according to this, availability of iron to the developing seed embryo has a relationship to the seed coat at maturity


eta: I was just peering around the bean agronomy site and see they have an article dedicated to sulphur presence in relationship to beans,https://fieldcropnews.com/2019/01/sulphur-fertilizer-trial-in-dry-edible-beans/ well, if that's true it would explain why my beans tend to perform well! We have PLENTY of sulphur in this mining town! :lol:

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Blue-Jay

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Something occurred to me last night about this @Bluejay77 - have you ever tried using azomite? I have a theory that beans are uniquely sensitive to mineral presence in soils, and the bean agronomist literature forwarded to me a few years ago by the agronomists seems to suggest that too. Not well formed seed is often thought to be caused by excessive heat or inadequate water - and it may be in some cases - but personally I'm more inclined to believe it's minerals. Beans are known, from a health point of view, as containing a rather high level of micronutrients in their dried state. But they can only contain those if they're present in the soil - I know there are studies published online re: mineral percentages in different bean varieties - and they can vary a lot. Perhaps certain bean types are more mineral 'needy' than others. A sprinkling of azomite might help? And it's not terribly expensive stuff.

Interestingly, when I see seeds that are not formed as well as I know that they could be, it's always tied to a certain location in my gardens - in the late afternoon shade of a big pine tree. So for me, any wrinkled seed is caused by inadequate exposure to sun. The soil in that area is actually more moist than anywhere else.

I have never used Azomite. I have greensand. Then I have treated and entire 1,000 and 2,000 square foot gardens with it. I didn't notice any difference. I would probably try the early start method with the Bird Egg Blue.
 

Blue-Jay

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Purple Eye - Pole Lima - Obtained from a Seed Savers Exchange member from Texas in 2012. Usuall very productive. It had a tough time with the weather, but did produce nice quality seeds. I think I had two plants after two other's soon died on emergence from the soil. Seed harvested was 7.50 ounces, 212 grams.

Romance - Pole Lima. Bred by Curt Burroughs in Leota, Iowa. Very productive and large seeded. This bean did not have a tough time with the weather. It was early started then transplanted to the garden. I have 4 plants that produced 30.50 ounces of beans, 864 grams.


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Purple Eye- Pole Lima...........................................Romance - Pole Lima
 

Zeedman

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with the reduction in coal burning power plants and better air quality it may make sense for me to do a side by side trial in a garden for using some sulphur this spring. i have the elemental powder on hand for acidification, but i do not have any gypsum which will not have as much of an effect on the pH. gypsum is one of my amendment trials i'd like to do anyways since it will help improve the heavy clay in the gardens. if i can find a decent source of it.
 
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