2024 Little Easy Bean Network - Growing Heirloom Beans Of Today And Tomorrow

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,080
Reaction score
24,229
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
...
Because I'm a little paranoid for my bean plants given my tiny rabbit trouble last year, I planted 6 cabbages in the garden Friday. These'll be my canary in the coal mine.

unfortunately rabbits will usually take out the entire young plant when nibbling (they are lower to the ground or something) whereas if you have groundhogs sometimes they don't nibble quite so low (and only go for the fresher tips) so you have a chance of having a bean plant survive a chomp from a groundhog.
 

Blue-Jay

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
3,180
Reaction score
9,777
Points
333
Location
Woodstock, Illinois Zone 5
My first batch have sprouted and it is just lovely to see bean plants growing again. There was a handful that did not sprout and went mouldy in the pot, but I have more seeds for every variety so I'm still hopeful. But mostly, the germination has been quite good. I planted the network beans tonight. I'm glad they were the last because the weather has been rainy and quite cold, and I've had to keep the sprouted bean plants under lights - which I don't consider very ideal, but necessary given this cold spring. And I don't have enough lights for all the bean pots.

Because I'm a little paranoid for my bean plants given my tiny rabbit trouble last year, I planted 6 cabbages in the garden Friday. These'll be my canary in the coal mine.

I would imagine by the time you plant your pole beans that were prestarted in some kind of container. They will already have started growing runners. I know mine did when I prestarted some limas this way. The limas were nearly three weeks old that were started in potting mix. At this point they may soon be of no interest to the rabbits.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,675
Reaction score
11,820
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
I would imagine by the time you plant your pole beans that were prestarted in some kind of container. They will already have started growing runners. I know mine did when I prestarted some limas this way. The limas were nearly three weeks old that were started in potting mix. At this point they may soon be of no interest to the rabbits.
That is good news! I have no experience with rabbits & beans aside from last year. The bean plants they did munch on all recovered (it was fairly minor damage) and produced just fine, but I had set out plants, not seeds. Well, all the more reason why I'm glad I started them in pots.
 

Blue-Jay

Garden Master
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
3,180
Reaction score
9,777
Points
333
Location
Woodstock, Illinois Zone 5
That is good news! I have no experience with rabbits & beans aside from last year. The bean plants they did munch on all recovered (it was fairly minor damage) and produced just fine, but I had set out plants, not seeds. Well, all the more reason why I'm glad I started them in pots.
I have found that even in unprotected gardens of beans that if i can get beans to about the 4 week, one month of age. The rabbits don't seem interested anymore. Perhaps they become tougher or the flavor changes in the plants. The only problem in an unprotected bean garden then becomes deer food.
 
Last edited:

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,675
Reaction score
11,820
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Today was dedicated to building my new garden bed with the cedar logs. DH took 2 days off so we could get as much of that done as possible; it required clearing the area where the 12 X 12 bed is going to go, which had a couple stumps, pots, etc. needing removal. It is a low area so it isn't dried out yet from all the spring rain and winter runoff. We were pretty muddy working in the space. We got almost all the stumps out, the pots, and had the whole area cleared, ready to start placing logs & notching them out. We took a little break mid-afternoon.

That's when a giant wrench was thrown in the plan. Out of nowhere a very frightened, very tiny gosling showed up crying for her parents. It was the saddest thing. First time I've seen a goose baby struggling alone like that. She's only a couple days old so we caught her in 30 seconds, the poor helpless little thing. So, that was that. We redirected our day's activities to providing care for her, and trying to contact a wildlife rescue centre. No luck finding anyone yet. And in the meanwhile she is attaching herself to us heavily. After 2 hours we could walk her to the creek for a meal & a swim and she wouldn't leave us, and she can paddle like a little champ. I'm actually worried now if the rescue calls because she'll be scared to leave us, trauma 2.0 in her less than a week old life. I can't begin to imagine what happened to both parents?

But raising her would be a huge responsibility, and as it is the rotation eating and napping is a quick cycle. She loves horsetail weed, but can't eat without us holding since she needs to pull against tension to break off pieces of it. She can't even eat independently, and she needs to eat all the time! Oh boy. She is cute as anything though. Right now, she is nestled in my daughter's lap on the couch, chirping happily to The Next Generation. I need to sort out my tech troubles with icloud so I can post a picture of her. She's adorable sitting on the couch in blanket nest. I hope she lets us sleep tonight.
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,675
Reaction score
11,820
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Gosling update.

I felt like there was a dolphin, or a loon, in my room last night. Cute little noises, but relentless. She is also a living clock and the second the first ray of sunlight appeared on the horizon, she was into a full 'where's mama' cry. I was out at 6 this morning picking fresh clover from the lawn to appease her.

Mid afternoon the rescue contacted us, and was willing to take her in - even though they have 180 animals placed with them already. I was unbelievably conflicted with what to do, since she so desperately seems to want company and would cry whenever she wasn't with one of us. I know the shelter can't provide what we can in terms of attention and we have a creek she loves, they don't. But, they are set up for rehabilitating Canada geese and the rescue has a full time permanent adult male who lives on the grounds there. Plus, there are other young ones there already - and that was the clincher, she needs the company of her own kind most of all. So we brought her, with heavy hearts.

Once I spoke more in depth with the lady who runs the facility, I realized that this was the right decision to make and that we were in fact harming her by being with her as much as we were in the 24 hours she was with us. We did nothing but fret and dote over her because she was in distress, and physically holding her was the only thing that soothed her. Apparently, if they get too much human contact at such an early age the hope for them to live a normal life in the wild becomes less and less likely, which is the case with the resident male they have. The initial rescuers spent too much time loving on him, and now he's more bonded to humans than geese and refuses to migrate.

So, Little Betty the gosling now lives with a cage mate of similar age and they provided us with a case number so that we can call and check up to see how she's doing. She'll probably live there for a year or more, but the facility is located right under a migratory route and the rescued mallards and geese will often see the flocks flying over and naturally join them when fully grown. A happy ending. And, by the end of the day we were still able to get the first 4 logs put down into place for the new bed. Happy travels little one. 🤎
20240514_161034.jpeg
 

flowerbug

Garden Master
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
16,080
Reaction score
24,229
Points
417
Location
mid-Michigan, USoA
made a big pot of beans last weekend and froze most of them. included half of my old beans so they did take some extra time to cook plus have more tough skins.

we made some burritoes yesterday with some of these beans. they still tasted fine if a little tough. i have two more quarts of old beans to cook up next time.

there were probably about 300 or more varieties of beans in the mix but most of them were the many brown beans that were odds and ends from my collection that i wasn't interested in growing any longer. it's much easier on me to manage all of them and to keep them refreshed if i don't have quite so many projects. :)
 

heirloomgal

Garden Addicted
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
3,675
Reaction score
11,820
Points
235
Location
Northern Ontario, Canada
Okay, now for some bean news.

Well, I think I have hit upon something of significance with the beans. It might be a little premature to post about yet, but it's been nearly a week so I feel like my theory is probably correct. Last year at this time I lost about 20 - 24 bean plants to bean seed flies while they were in pots. I had germinated them indoors just fine, but when I put them outside in the sun, some wilted and when I looked inside the stem near the root I found the culprit. It wasn't that many, but more than I'd like to lose for sure. This year has been cold and rainy so I was a bit x-tra worried for my plants since bean seed flies love that weather. I've been putting plants out all week and gave each a small electro-culture wand. Amazingly, not a single plant has suffered injury or been lost to the flies. I consider this somewhat of a victory, since every bean loss, esp when you have a small sample, is super disappointing. I hope the success continues! I've even started pinching the vines they're growing so well.
IMG_5792.JPG

My network beans seem to be germinating very well, that was quite quick since they were only planted Sunday night. I mostly see green loop necks right now peeking out, but a few have turned up their heads and greened up the first leaves. I put wands in right away, as soon as I see the sprout. I do think the wands can induce temporary albinism, which I saw both last year and this year as well, to an even greater degree even, but this time in tomatoes. But I did see some of it in 2 or 3 bean varieties last year, though they passed through it and greened up again. But I'm keeping an eye on that.

I also learned that I've been too heavy handed with the water in watering the starter pots. I really put minimum water on them for the network bean pots - barely 1/8 cup, and my germ rates were better this time that for the last round which got between 1/4 cup and 1/3. That was way too much. The beans barely need water to germinate it seems. My house is a bean pot carnival right now - close to 400 pots everywhere I can fit them.

@Blue-Jay have you got any beans in yet?
 

Latest posts

Top