Bean coloration

LonghornGardens

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I have noticed that when I grow beans they have a different coloration than when sowed. For example, Giant Red Tarka is almost no white and all red. Jacobs Cattle is almost all red and no white. This does not happen with the black and white beans like ying yang aka calypso. It seems to only happen with the red and whites. It is slightly anoying and I am curious as to why.
Heavy clay soil in WV zone 6.
 

Hal

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If I grow any thing like Magpie, Jacob's Cattle or the like during hot or hot/dry weather I always end up with the dark color taking over most of the seed coat.
This last growing season I had some Magpie that were self sown but healthy so I left them and they matured during fall (they survived frost untouched) and the white was more dominant and the black markings more the expected norm for Magpie. The other influence I am aware of is soil type.
 

Bluejay77

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Some bean varieties are more sensitive to changes in seed coat color expression by elements in the enviornment. Such as soil type and heat. Back in the mid 70's to mid 1980's. I gardened in a clay type top soil. Very heavy soil and you had to catch it just at the right soil moisture level when you tilled so it was friable and crumbled into small particles nicely. The soil color had sort of a light yellow cast to it. This soil definitely affected Jacob's Cattle and beans of similar patterning. Now I live about a 40 minute drive east of where I used to garden and I have a very black prairie soil and my Jacob's Cattle colors are much better. My other beans of different color and patterned similar to JC are also lovely looking each season in my black soil. This soil is lighter in structure and contains more sand and is better drained. In 2012 when I grew JC and Giant Red Tarka in my black soil the colors were mostly red. However that was a very hot and dry drought year. I have noticed though that Jacob's Cattle and Giant Red Tarka are still more prone to having their seed coats display more red and less white with less spotting than other beans of similar patterning. I acquired a bean from the Netherlands last year called Jacob's Cattle Amish and this bean seemed to be much less sensitive to color changes in it's seed coat. Last year in 2014 it looked liked I thought a Jacob's Cattle bean should look and was much nicer than the reguloar Jacob's Cattle beans I usually grow.

Perhaps @Hal and @LonghornGardens you should acquire some seed of Jacob's Cattle Amish and give them a try. I have almost thought of no longer growing Giant Red Tarka and my regular Jacob's Cattle.
 

Hal

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@Bluejay77 I have one named 'Whiskey' which looks exactly like Jacob's Cattle but holds the pattern in the heat. I found it cleaning seed and doing inspections on this last seasons seed a few days ago.
 

LonghornGardens

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Thank you for those quick and enlightening replies. I would like to try these two varieties mentioned.
 
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Hal

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@Hal,

Is this a new outcross you have found and named Whiskey? Sounds interesting. I very much like the name too.
Apologies for the possible confusion, I'd just forgot I'd sown it this growing season and had packed it away and forgot about it which sounds terrible now that I think about it. It actually came to me via another collector who likely got it from the seed bank here. I'll grow it out again this season and do a comparison with Jacob's Cattle.


Thank you for those quick and enlightening replies. I would like to try these two varieties mentioned.
You're welcome and might I add on the right forum to ask bean questions.
 

journey11

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I had the same problem, but with Appaloosa that I was growing out for Russ in 2013. I was alarmed when it didn't come out looking like its parent since I was responsible for returning seed back to him. I planted it again in 2014, this time in a raised bed with amended soil, not our heavy red clay. More pods successfully filled out with mature beans, but still, solid yellow, no white spots. Production was overall quite poor.

Giant Red Tarka also comes out differently for me. I did get some white spots, but they were not nearly so "giant" and lovely as the seed I had received. Twice I've grown it, once in the main garden, once in the raised bed. Same result as the Appaloosa.

There are some beans, primarily southwestern varieties, that I can scarcely get seed from if at all, even though the vines will grow and look nice and set pods. Some of the pods will look big, but contain only stunted beans. Other varieties grown side by side with them will produce just fine. I am less inclined to think that the soil's nutrient content or pH is at fault, but perhaps it has more to do with how clay holds onto water or maybe even our humid summer air. Pods that have come on with different timing when the weather was drier seem to have better luck. Those beans are just not well adapted to my climate, I think.

We have had some very cool and wet summers the past few years. It has made the whole garden a bit more of a challenge. I wish we could send a little of this rain over to the west coast. I still have beans to plant too. Hopefully we are coming to the end of this long rainy spell.
 
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LonghornGardens

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Journey, so you too are seeing this and grow near me. I have only noticed that it affects P. vulgaris and not P. lunatus.

My family from Mississippi have grown what I believe is "Snow on the Mountain" butter bean for many years. It might be "Aubrey Deanne" though as they look a lot alike to me. I acquired seed from my 92 year old grandfather right before he passed away and they appear the same no matter where grown.
 

LonghornGardens

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Blooming Prarie, if I wait for the pods to fully dry the lavender color is fully washed out. If I harvest them before the pods are dried out they are the most lovely shade of lavender. Bluejay77 have you found this to be true in your garden?
 

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