Hand Pollination and New Bean Varieties
Hello everyone. I have posted this message in the bean, pea and legume forum, and they referred me here, so I thought I'd repost it. I have purchased Carol Deppe's book, Breeding Your Own Vegetable Varieties, but it has not arrived yet. That being said, here goes:
I've decided to (hopefully) develop my own strains of Phaseolus vulgaris by intentionally cross-breeding different heirloom strains by hand pollination.
I'm having quite a difficult time finding any information on this topic anywhere online. Hopefully, fellow gardeners around the world here can help me :)
First off, has anyone here had any success hand pollinating perfect flowers? I've read that most beans pollinate themselves before the flower even opens. One website suggested removing the stamen the evening before the morning the flower is due to open, then pollinating the pistil the next day with pollen from the prospective "mate". Is there another way to go about this, or any advise on the best way to accomplish this?
Secondly, it seems to me that most beans can be used as snap, shell and dry beans, depending on the maturity level of the pods, only some cultivars are better suited for one or the other. If crossing, for instance, a pinto bean with a blue lake bush bean, would you treat the F1's as a dry bean, or a green (snap) bean? or both, and decide which is best?
Which brings me to my main question: which traits are dominant and recessive when it comes to Phaseolus vulgaris?
string - stringless pod type
green - yellow - purple - striped pod color
bush - pole growth habit
white - black - mottled - any combination thereof seed color
straight - curved pod shape
flat - rounded pod shape
snap - wax - shell - dry - cranberry bean suitability
flavor and texture?
These are all traits I would like to work with, but only a few at a time of course. I'd like to start off small scale, and work my way up to much larger breeding experiments.
Also, I do understand Mendelian genetics, and the F1 "hybrids" are not my goal. Letting the F1's self pollinate, I will plant the second generation (F2's) and begin selecting the more desirable trait combinations to begin the new strains.
ANY help at all would be greatly appreciated, especially concerning the dominant/recessive traits. Knowing that will let me know if I succeded in crossing the beans.
Thanx for any and all help
Joseph (Houston TX, zone 8b -9a)