Yard long beans - harvest before vacation ??

dancinglemons(7B VA)August 9, 2008

Hello all,

I am growing the yard long beans. I have started to harvest some of the beans but will be going on short vacation and would like to know if the plants will stop producing if I do not pick beans every 1-2 days. Now I pick beans every 1-2 days.

Also my Chinese Red Noodle have great vines - no beans. All of the other 3 types have beans. Anyone know why Red Noodle is not making beans?? I am in Central Virginia and we have daylight from about 5:30AM until 8:30PM -- bean plants are in full sun. Average daily temp is somewhere between 88F - 95F.

Thanks :-))


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Dancinglemons, I don't think they will entirely stop producing, but if you're going to be gone more than 3 or 4 days, I think I would pick them very closely, even the ones which are relatively small. After all, they'll make more. But, if they aren't picked, just pick all of the mature and overripe beans when you get home, and I'm sure they'll keep producing for you.

I suspect you issue with the Red Noodle is a combination of heat and daylength. Mine are producing here in SE Michigan. I suspect as your days and nights cool off a bit in the next few weeks, and with the days growing shorter, they will start to produce. They should go well into October for you, possibly later depending upon when you have frost. A few years back, mine here in Michigan made it to almost November, even producing some more beans with dry pods on the lower vines (I had quit picking, just got sick of them, too many to use).

SE Michigan

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 10:28PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks Dennis,

I did not know Red Noodle was daylength sensitive. I learn something new about this bean on a regular basis.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 12:11AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Personally, I do not believe that "Red Noodle" is daylength sensitive, since such plants tend to bloom in September. I have two tropical yardlong beans in my collection that behave in that manner. "Red Noodle" just takes longer to bear, especially in cooler weather.

DL, if you are going on a short vacation, there should be no problem. Just pick off all over-ripe beans upon your return, and the plants will continue to bear.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 4:28PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)


Could you explain the 'daylength sensitive' as it pertains to long beans?? I have a very poor understanding of this - with regard to long beans. I know with certain lettuce if day is too long/short the plant will go to seed. Also with some onion the bulb will not enlarge. What happens with the long bean??


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 1:25AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

DL, many tropical plants are adapted to the 12 hour days of the short latitudes, and are "photo period" (daylength) sensitive. Cultivated in the higher latitudes, such plants will typically blossom when days approach 12 hours, and many tropical tuberous plants (such as yacon) will be triggered to form tubers. In our Northern latitudes, 12 hour days only happen in March & September, during the equinox.

Photo-period sensitivity is actually quite common. It is not like a switch; some plants have less sensitivity than others. Soybeans & onions are two examples of this. The two yardlongs that I have, however, are very sensitive, and will not bloom until days approach 12 hours, in September. They will grow vigorously until then - covering a 6-foot trellis completely - but not blossom. By the time they do, it is only 3 weeks before my average frost date. :-(

One of the signs of daylength sensitivity is that such plants will tend to bloom at the same date, regardless of when they are planted. I have not observed this with "Red Noodle", since with the use of transplants, I can have an earlier harvest.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 5:53PM
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DL -- listen to Zeedman, he knows a WHOLE LOT more than I do about this stuff. I'm just taking some guesses at things. Zeedman is the real expert.

Hey, Zeedman, I've got a question for you. If I wanted to grow some regular soybeans next year (the dry, processing type, as oppossed to edamame (edomame? oppossed or opossed or opposed? -- I'm sorry, I can't spell!) -- what would be a good kind and where might I get the seeds? Any thoughts?

SE Michigan

    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 10:11PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Thanks zeedman. Now I understand so much more. I have September and October which should be frost free  perhaps I will have enough beans to freeze. I am looking forward to the Red Noodle -- not for the taste so much as the color. My other long beans are producing like crazy. Unfortunately for me I did not make the trellis tall enough. Next year the trellis will be minimum 8 feet tall. Will I have an unknown yard long next year if I save seeds from the beans I am growing this year? I have Taiwan Black, Liana, Red Noodle and generic "asparagus bean" from WalMart seed packet. The four varieties are all growing together in an EarthBox  4 of each type. AND is it unusual for these beans to grow 3 & 4 beans on a ÂstalkÂ?? When the beans started producing, there were only 2 beans on each 'stalk'. Now there are many sets of 3 & 4. I am fascinated by these beans.

You sent me tumeric and galangal roots. I sent a thank you email but was not sure it went to correct email addy. THANKS!!!!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 1:20AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"...Will I have an unknown yard long next year if I save seeds from the beans I am growing this year?

That depends. They will certainly cross in such close proximity; but if you only want to save a few pods of each variety for next year, it should be fairly easy. "Taiwan Black" and "Liana" bloom close to the same time, with "Red Noodle" much later. Don't know about the Wally's asparagus bean, but I'm guessing it will bloom about the same time as "Liana".

You might try blossom bagging, where you tie a bag of breathable material (such as bridal veil, or spun polyester row cover) over the buds which will open the next day. It should be large enough to prevent bees from reaching the flowers. Remove the bags in two days, pinch off all other buds on that stem, and mark the stem with a string. With this method, you can save seeds from several varieties at once.

Or... on any given day, observe the buds which will open the next day. When the variety you want to save has several buds, put a string around the stem(s). Then pinch off the large next-day buds from all the others, so the chosen variety is the only one open next day - be sure not to miss any, or your seed will not be pure. You can do this several days in succession, with a different variety each day.

For either of these methods, tie the string well (so birds will not steal it) but not so tightly around the stem that it restricts growth. Watch the marked blossoms for small beans forming - if too many blossoms fall off, continue until you have the number of pods you wish to save. Allow only the marked pods to mature for seed.

And DL, I've tried all of the beans you mentioned except the Wally's... the flavors of each are quite different. You will probably want to harvest the "Taiwan Black" at an earlier stage than the others, because the very long pods grow & develop fiber quickly. At less than 1/4" width, they will still be almost 2 feet long!

Dennis, outside of wholesalers, there are few commercial sources of non-GMO soybeans for processing. Several heirloom seed companies have offered them, but two of them (Horus Botanicals & Peace Seeds) have recently closed. Synergy Seeds has offered many soybeans in the recent past; if you contact George through his website, he may still have some available. Sourcepoint Organic Seeds (no website) offers several soybeans, and if you tell him how you intend to process them, might be able to give some recommendations... he does charge for his catalog, though.

Or... I could send you samples of several varieties to try. Of the 60+ soybean varieties I currently offer, about half are processing types. I have not personally tested them for all applications, but they are mostly high-protein selections (some over 50%) and one of them should do well for you. Contact me through my Member Page if interested... or if you know an SSE member, check the Yearbook listings for more info (member code WI HO C).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:40PM
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grandad_2003(9A/sunset 28)

Zeedman, have you tried the yard long variety in the link below?.. Or has anyone else done so? If so, are they "sweet and tender" as advertised?

Here is a link that might be useful: Akasanjaku

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 4:19PM
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