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

flowerbug

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Wait, are we not supposed to plant all the network beans? Do you only plant 4 seeds usually due to lack of space? Or hold some back in case something takes out the first batch? I didn’t think of that possibility…

sometimes you only have a few beans and you plant them all, other times you have more and can plant them in more than one garden (to diversify exposure to critters, weather, soil differences or whatever), and other times you really want to be sure so you save a few seeds for another season if you can. i may also save a seed or two for identification purposes if i'm worried i may not be able to tell certain beans apart...
 

flowerbug

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I always keep some back, just in case. I usually plant 1/2 of the bush bean seeds, and 1/3 of the pole beans and if things don't work out I can try again the following year. Every year there seems to be one bean in the bunch that doesn't succeed for me and because I keep some seed back I've always been able to return that one missing network bean in the following year's grow out.

some network beans i think i'm on my fourth season for trying to get them to fully give me 60 nice beans to send back. i'm pretty sure i've said i won't try again with one of them but it seems i keep replanting anyways... :) oops. i'm pretty sure that some beans are better than none and @Blue-Jay can use them or not as desired on his side of things. i do have the space, but what i don't often have is really perfect soil and conditions that some beans seem to want.

and by gum i also have 20-something recent enough seeds of Fort Portal Jade that at least i have not lost my own sample of those! :) persistence and learning can improve things after all (and growing the beans in pots so i could bring them inside when it got too hot outside...).
 

Artorius

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I always keep some back, just in case. I usually plant 1/2 of the bush bean seeds, and 1/3 of the pole beans and if things don't work out I can try again the following year. Every year there seems to be one bean in the bunch that doesn't succeed for me and because I keep some seed back I've always been able to return that one missing network bean in the following year's grow out.

This is the fourth year I will be trying to grow Pink Tip Greasy. In the past, the plants simply died. I no longer have the seeds from Blue-Jay, but Triffid gave me some, so maybe this year I can send back 60 nice seeds. It's a matter of honor :)
Last year I returned Mother Earth and Fox Family Greasy. It took me three seasons to obtain good quality seeds. Some beans are less cooperative than others.
 

heirloomgal

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Oh gosh now I’m really nervous! I’ve had phenomenal success with beans every year, no insect issues, no disease… the only time I failed to get seed was when I tried beans that were too long season for me. So I guess I just assumed I’d be successful. Fingers crossed!
You have going for your odds @jbrobin09 that Canada is a world leading exporter and therefore grower of legumes! So you're already on your way! Considering how many of @Blue-Jay 's beans I've grown (I've never counted but it's got to hover around 100) only 2 of them ever needed to be grown again - Zugdidi Fat Cake, a VERY long season pole bean that flowers at 100 days!, and Rose Creek. Rose Creek, a bush bean, seemed to utterly loathe my garden and never did great either year, but I got enough to send back exactly 60. I think you'll be okay. If any of our network beans are the same this year I can help you fulfil your network return too in the case you have troubles. :)
 

heirloomgal

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The early summer season is complete now, I've had my predicted seasonal bout of total bean paranoia. It rained from 9 o'clock last night on & off until mid afternoon today. Tons fell :(. Thank goodness I have so many transplants - I'm still quite worried the seeds will be adversely affected. When it ended though it became quite sunny and warm, with a little breeze. I'm hoping all the plants & seeds are alright. It didn't get cold all that time, so that was good. But those downpours make me REALLY REALLY nervous. I highly suspect the beans, both seeds and plants, loathe that much water. I'm glad nearly all of them are planted in raised beds.

If I didn't love growing beans so much, I'd go back to tomatoes! I NEVER worried about my tomato plants!!
 
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flowerbug

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If I didn't love growing beans so much, I'd go back to tomatoes! I NEVER worried about my tomato plants!!

haha! yes, i've not been able to kill off those tomato starts i keep putting in. :)

i've never lost bean plantings to wind, flash floods, rains or hails, but many more to critters.

i have lost a few plants to frosts/freezes but those were known risks and i'd only planted seeds that i had plenty so there really wasn't a risk to losing the entire seed line.

there might be a first eventually, but so far i'm doing ok.

i have lost some plantings due to having only a few seeds but that is just how it goes. this year i have four seeds of a certain type (new outcross from last season) and i've planted one of them and will plant a second one in another location and hope one of the two grows and is productive and returns true to type planted. if neither of the two produces i will grow the others in pots next season and hope for the best.
 

Artorius

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I didn't think I would buy this book in a Polish bookstore. This was probably a mistake because my must-have list will grow outrageously again 😆

DSCN5331.jpg
 

Neen5MI

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Oh gosh now I’m really nervous! I’ve had phenomenal success with beans every year, no insect issues, no disease… the only time I failed to get seed was when I tried beans that were too long season for me. So I guess I just assumed I’d be successful. Fingers crossed!
This is my first year growing network beans, and I planted all the seeds provided. Like you, my history with beans gave me no reason to be cautious. I propose we relax and enjoy the bean season, assuming our luck will hold! :)

Mary
 

heirloomgal

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I didn't think I would buy this book in a Polish bookstore. This was probably a mistake because my must-have list will grow outrageously again 😆

View attachment 66374
Bill Best wrote a book! I didn't know! I had a little packet of a tomato seed variety called 'Bill Best', but I have no idea where it is or what happened to it. The book looks GOOD. 🥰
 

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