How's your summer going?

aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. CanadaJuly 14, 2014

It's in the 80's and 90's here right now. I had to put up a floating remay curtain in front of a row of pole beans next to the house, the poor things were suffering, happy to say they've perked up.
We usually don't have it this hot here but being the optimist I am I planted some Chinese Red Noodles in the garden, iffy at best here. These guys were just sitting sulking, when the hot weather hit they started to climb so maybe we'll get a feed or two. I even planted a couple of cantaloupe plants and they're taking off.

Back to beans, one of the Andean/Ecuador plants in the greenhouse is flowering and setting beans. Once the heat hit it really took off, a really skookum vine. I thought being from high in the Andes they liked cooler weather? Still only one A/E plant setting beans outside.

Had a feed of Purple Italian Marconi Stringless last night, although this is the prettiest purple podded bean I've ever grown the texture and taste of this one is disappointing, just plain blah, I won't grow it again.

All my other pole beans are at different stages but all are looking good. I've been bagging some flowers on each of them to make sure the seed I put in long storage is pure, the rest I'm just going to take a chance.

A question, what is the growth habit of White Hull Pink Tips, are they supposed to be a pole type or a vining bush?

My new Aeron Purple Star runner is growing in leaps and bounds and loaded with flower buds so have been hitting them with the hose late afternoon once the sun is off them, see if this will help cool them down and set some beans.

So, how's everyone's summer going?


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sweetquietplace(6 WNC Mtn.)

Annette, the White Hull Pink Tips should be a vigorous pole bean. The ones I had last year covered an arched cattle panel. Ann

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:48PM
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I'm just south of you, Annette, across the border. My beans are all going nuts this year, to the point that they're falling over! I used inoculant this year when I planted them and can't believe the difference it's made over last year! I'm growing Cherokee Trail of Tears and Rattlesnake pole beans, Soldier, Horto Semi-Bush, Pinto, Calypso, Tiger's Eye, Rockwell, Beka Brown and Red Hawk Kidney bush beans. Should be a really good bean harvest this year. Not loving this heat, but it shouldn't last too much longer.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 10:05PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

nwheritage gardener, I'm growing about 3 dozen different beans this year, 4-8 plants of most of them. I don't usually grow this many varieties but I have to renew my seed as some of it is 4 years old and I want to keep my seed viable. Growing this many varieties and close together I'm bagging a few flowers on all of them to make sure they haven't crossed. The weatherman is telling us to be very careful during this heat wave, not to stay out in the sun more then you have to, looks like we are in for it for at least another 3 or 4 days I'm not loving it :(. People down south must think we're real wimps LOL.

Ann, the reason I asked is mine are climbing their strings, have quite a few flower buds but only about 2 ft tall at present. Not the best but this is a closeup pic of the seed I planted. Annette

This post was edited by aftermidnight on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 1:33

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:22PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Well, after a very soggy start to the season, I finally have about 2/3 of my rural plot planted. Much of that was only done in the last 10 days or so, trying to get in all of the transplants I had started at home. My tomato plants were 3 months old (!!!) and had been potted up twice.

Not much went in that was planned, though, and much of what I did plant on time was drowned by heavy rains & rotted in the ground. Soybeans were the biggest losers, I had planned 28, only got 9 that came up... and only 6 of those are good stands. The pole beans "Jembo Polish" and "Sargas" are total losses - only "Garafal Oro", on the high side of the garden, germinated, albeit poorly. The runner bean "Gigandes" also survived, but only 10 plants out of a 30-foot row. Three late rows of "Emerite" planted this month should give me plenty of snaps, but seed is doubtful. Of all the legumes planted in my rural plot, only two cowpeas ("21 peas" and "Pink Eye Purple Hull"), one pea ("Opal Creek), and one soybean ("Cha Kura Kake") don't seem to mind the extra rain, and are doing well. All were on the high side, above the flooding.

The funny thing is, when I am planting, I never return beans to storage which have been exposed to humidity... I just throw them into the grass outside the garden. Those beans all had excellent germination, coming up in the lawn - only the beans planted in the garden rotted. On the bright side, at least I know the seed is still good. ;-)

My home plots were planted just slightly later than schedule, and did not suffer as much from the rains... and since I enlarged those plots this year, there are quite a few legumes there. "Insuk's Wang Kong" is the most vigorous, and with our unseasonably cool weather, has already begun to set pods. Two peas, "Gruno Rosyn" (a soup pea) and "Sugar Magnolia" (purple snap) are also enjoying the cool weather, as is a garbanzo "PI 359241".

The pole beans "Flamingo", "Grandma Roberts", and "Serbian Pole" have all reached the tops of their poles, and are beginning to blossom... so I should get some dry seed for those this year.

Noticed something odd about "Grandma Roberts" though... about 1/4 of the seedlings had either 3 or 4 primary leaves, rather than the usual pair. I took some photos, just haven't uploaded them yet. One plant out of four last year had that trait, and apparently it bred true. Fusion, what type of nuclear material have you been feeding these beans? ;-)

The yardlong "Purple Podded" and cowpea "Green Dixie" are barely growing, waiting for warmth & sunshine (which are finally in the forecast). The lima "1880's Butterbean" is beginning to climb, and if it blooms this month (July) it should get dry seed.

One of the only bright spots in an otherwise dismal year is the bush hyacinth bean I received in a trade last year. Much to my astonishment, not only is it a true bush habit, it is day neutral. It has white flowers in spikes held above the foliage, and has already begun flowering vigorously. I hope they self pollinate, I really want to get seed from these. When I have more observations to report, I hope to start a thread on them.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 12:48AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Geez, Zeedman, how discouraging and disappointing, here's hoping it's clear sailing from now on. It seems we've had just the opposite type of growing seasons, we haven't had this kind of summer in many a year. It looks like I could have grown lots of different things that would have been iffy at the best. I'm glad now that I pushed the envelope and planted some Chinese Red Noodles out in the garden.
I'll be looking forward to hearing more about your bush hyacinth bean, kind of exciting isn't it :). Well stuff like this is to us beanaholics LOL. I tried growing the vining hyacinth bean once, it was a flop, I bet I could have grown them this year tho.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:07AM
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hementia8(8 MS)

No need for 5 gal.buckets here this year
My pole beans have not fared well with the late planting and heavy rains
The late frosts put us three weeks behind, then the heat and heavy rains began
The leaves never had a chance to dry out and they got all kinds of disease and dropped their leaves
I may be able to salvage enough seed for next year
The pole buttebeans and cowpeas are loving it and are loaded with pods
We just got another 4"down pour after yesterdays 2"and expecting more this afternoon

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:15AM
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Equatorial Pacific Ocean temperatures have been about half a degree C above average giving us slightly El Nino conditions here south of Seattle. Spring was early and warm and July temperatures have been well above average with no significant rain. Very nice after record cold and wet springs in recent years. I was able to start some beans in peat pots on May 1 and the Aunt Jean's have usable snaps. I might have been able to grow Limas here this summer had I known.

Although I grow and love large shellies, my main focus is full beans (snaps that are eaten in the tender hulls when the seeds are mature for those of you that are not familiar with them.)

Bill Best and Frank Barnett travel around Appalachia and trade for full bean seeds and I trial some of the ones that look like they might do well here. So far, it looks like Clay Bank Fall will be a winner and Square House already has blossoms so it is looking good too. George's Tennessee Cutshort always does well here and they are covered with blossoms. Red Eye Fall/Leslie Tenderpod/Hazard Fall/Coal Miner Survival Bean//Red Eye Babys/Birds Eye Bean do not yet have blossoms but the trellis is covered with heavy vines. Gallahar appears to be slower than last year in our current warm summer. We'll see how it does.

I have to start seeds in pots or pre-sprout them as our soil is slow to warm up. I made two blunders this year. First, I planted four seeds per pot and did not thin them. The result was sickly and leggy looking plants. The second was I delayed planting out sprouted beans until some of them had 3-4 inch long roots. That didn't help either. - Dick

This post was edited by drloyd on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 11:08

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 10:07AM
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Just getting back from a 3 week Mexico trip and I tilled the garden tonight for first time in 4 weeks. Beans look good, but need some good weeding, which I am hoping to do this weekend. I need to get up the cattle panels as well.

Not sure why but cucumbers not doing well this year. Need to replant some for late harvest.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 11:24PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Dean don't talk to me about weeds, my garden is overrun with them, I've put a small dint in them but being laid up most of last year they really got a foothold. I've been laying down pieces of old carpet on my gravel paths, leaving in place for a week then taking them up and gleefully or should I say sadistically watching the hot sun fry them to a crisp.
We've been eating cucs and tomatoes for a couple of weeks now. I used to have a lot of trouble with slugs and snails getting my cuc plants so this year I wound the vines as they grew around tomato cages, this seemed to do the trick for me.

Dick I was so snowed under with all the tomato plants I was growing for family and friends (they're out of luck next year) some of my beans had to wait in line for a spot on the benches, so they got a bit of a late start. With the exception of Woods Mountain Crazy Beans which were direct seed all the other were started in 6 or 9 packs as space came available, planted out when they had their first pr. leaves.
I see there's a good picking on the Mr. Tung's ready but we'll have to wait awhile to get a taste of most of the others. My Barksdale and Emilia's poles are full of lush looking vines but nary a flower yet, fingers crossed we have a long growing season because these I'm mostly growing for seed.

Charlie, sorry to hear how your growing season has been going, let's hope from now on it's clear sailing for you too. It's so disappointing when one puts in so much work and then old mother nature thumbs her nose at you.

Rain today, a welcome relief. I think, I hope, our heat wave is over it went out with a bang :(. Heat and the high winds played havoc on some of my pole beans. Before the wind I had to string up a floating remay curtain in front of 5 poles of beans in a hot spot next to the house, the heat was really doing a number on the leaves, the curtain fixed that little problem but then that last day the wind hit, unwrapping the bean vines from their poles, fortunately not too much damage, I've got them going up their poles again. Things were looking up on the netting trellis my Andean beans were growing on, about 8 vines are/were flowering. 3 or 4 actually have beans forming, they're still hanging on but the wind blew most of the flowers off. Still quite a few of these are not flowering yet, day length sensitive?

We had another feed of the Purple Italian Marconi Stringless, they tasted better this time, I cut them into smaller pieces and although subtle they did have some flavor so I guess I will save a few seeds, try them again sometime down the road.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 3:32PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Things were looking up on the netting trellis my Andean beans were growing on, about 8 vines are/were flowering. 3 or 4 actually have beans forming, they're still hanging on but the wind blew most of the flowers off. Still quite a few of these are not flowering yet, day length sensitive?"

Annette, its actually remarkable that any of those Andean beans are not day length sensitive... you are truly fortunate to have a few that will flower early in your latitude.

I am having similar good fortune with the bush hyacinth bean. There are nearly a hundred pods already set. The bushes are short but vigorous, and many new branches - already with visible flower spikes - are emerging. This plant doesn't waste any time before flowering, there is actually a good chance that it will be the first dry bean seed I harvest! Annette, I've got to send you some of these.

All of my beans are flowering now except a lima ("North Star") and a pole snap ("Emerite") both of which were planted late in my rural garden. "Emerite" is beginning to climb, so I'm hoping to get enough snaps before frost to get me through the winter.

"Insuk's Wang Kong" is doing remarkable well - the bumblebees & honeybees have finally appeared, and in combination with the cool spells we've had, numerous flowers have set. There are literally hundreds of pods already growing, and there seems to be better pod fill than I usually get, so it should be a great seed yield. Normally I don't get runner beans to set until the first August cool spell, at which point it's a race against frost. "Gigandes" (in the rural garden) has just begun flowering too, if we get another cool spell, it too should have dry seed.

The "Gruno Rosyn" soup peas are strong & in full bloom. Quite a few pods already set, and the plants show no sign of slowing down. The seed count within the pods is higher that usual due to the cool temperatures, it should be a great seed yield. I munched on a few of the peas today, they are not as sweet as shelling peas, but still tender & pleasant. "Sugar Magnolia" is incredibly vigorous, already over 4' tall & still going strong... I had to extend the trellis. It has lots of deep purple pods, too immature yet to sample. I planted it in a location where it would have afternoon shade to protect it from the heat, and that seems to have been a good decision. Both of these peas have large, deep purple flowers, really beautiful in bloom.

Cowpeas & yardlongs have really languished this year. The two planted late in the rural garden ("21 peas" and "Pink Eye Purple Hull") are actually doing better than "Green Dixie" and "Purple Pod Yardlong" which were planted on time in my home plots. They were started early as transplants, but haven't grown much since then, I'm still waiting for them to take off. Last year I was already picking the first yardlongs at about this point (also from transplants) and this year, they haven't even begun climbing yet. I think that is due not only to the cooler than normal temperatures, but to the nearly constant cloud cover for almost half of the summer.

The garbanzos, after a promising start, will probably not do much. As soon as the heat came, they began to wither. I'll be lucky to get enough seed to replace what I planted. Too bad, this is a really promising garbanzo, but I just can't multiply the seed to the point where I can share it.

This year I planted soybeans in some of the large pots that had eggplant last year; they are really doing well. This may prove to be a good rotation after growing tomatoes & peppers in those pots, and soybeans will probably add a lot more nitrogen & root mass than the beans I've used in rotation previously. Doesn't mean that I won't be growing beans in pots any more though, perish the thought.

All in all, after a dismal start, it's good to see some crops doing well... I'm feeling a lot happier about the garden than I was earlier in the season.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 12:38AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Zeedman, ditto, if my Andean beans produce seed I'll send a few to you to experiment with, maybe you can figure out what they really are :).
I did plant two in the greenhouse, one has the odd flower forming the second vine hasn't, two different patterned seed coats, both vines must be 14 ft long and still growing on bamboo canes horizontally overhead. If one of them is day length sensitive being in the greenhouse with minimal heat on this fall it just might produce something.
Since the others are planted just a few steps from the back door I went out and took a picture of one of the beans, 4" long with slight purple mottling on the pod. Not the best picture but it gives the general idea of what they look like :).

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 1:36AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well we're still in that d***heat wave, my 'Emilia's' are finally producing some flowers, leaving all for seed this time around, my stash is pretty low.
A few more of the 'Andean' have, not many, but beans are starting to appear, possible because the days are getting a little shorter?
Most of my bush beans with the exception of 'Woods Mountain Crazy Beans' are finished, seed collected and drying down in baskets.
'Mr. Tung's' did well, had several feeds now leaving the rest for seed along with the 'Purple Marconi', 'Grandma Roberts Purple Pod' and about a dozen or so others.

'Tennessee Cutshorts', waiting for the beans to fill the pods before picking, another few days and we get to eat these very tasty beans.
I found a couple of flowers on my 'Barksdale' this morning so if everything goes right we will get some beans to eat as well as a few seeds (my favorite wax to date), vines are good and healthy but they are sure taking their own sweet time.
The pink seeded 'Grandpa Gerono's' look to be a nice flat wax bean, supposed to have a real buttery taste, I'm leaving all for seed as I planted all of the few seed I had, I know my bad, but I think I can beg a couple more seeds if I run into problems :).
The 'Aeron Purple Star' runners although still dropping a few flowers have started producing beans, the first dozen or so are marked for seed, the rest we get to eat :). This runner is growing gangbusters for me, not given the planting recommendations Gee gives as mine were put in late in the only place I could find to plant a few :(. Still they are outdoing any runner I've ever grown.

Lastly, the 'Woods Mountain Crazy Beans' I planted in a little raised bed around a Rosemary plant, are going bananas, just loaded with flowers, you part the leaves and there they are, crazy was the right name for them. This is the first year we get to eat some of these as I've given a lot of the seed away and just had enough left to plant for seed the next year. Here's a little picture of them.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 12:48PM
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Annette, I picked a mess of nearly full Aunt Jean's last night along with the first full Clay Bank Fall. Those have yellow hulls so far as the red streaks have not appeared yet. Both of those were from gambler plants started May 1. I have a trellis of Aunt Jeans that were started about a month ago as sort of a gambler experiment for an October crop.

The Tennessee Cutshorts are loaded with 5 inch pods but like you I am waiting for the full stage. I wonder what those would have been like started May 1.

Samos Greek Lima runners have some large fat pods. I should steam some of the smaller ones and try them as snaps.

Red Eye Fall/Hazard Fall/Leslie Tenderpod is a huge mass of aggressive vines but they have finally put a little energy into blossoms.

Most all of the others finally have blossoms. Some of them are Appalachian beans that are new to me so we will see what happens. - Dick

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:06AM
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I have planted Barksdale Wax Pole, Tennessee Cutshort, Frank Barnett and Woods Mountain Crazy Bean. I also planted just enough Penny Rile Cowpea for seed as well as Calico Willow Leaf Pole Lima (very small seed).

Normally Barksdale is quite marginal here, due to our extreme heat. Annette, we say it's cool when it's below 90 F. But this year we've had the coolest summer I've seen in Oklahoma. I actually found myself wearing a sweat shirt, early one July morning, and one night, when I had to do chores really really late, I was blowing steam! Barksdale loves this! It's just getting ready to bloom. But now, as temps are getting back to a more normal level, I may have to wait until September to see pods.

Frank Barnett has been devastated by grasshoppers. Out of a tripod and a 16' cattle panel I'm hoping for enough for seed.

I'm hoping that Calico Willow Leaf Pole Lima and Tennessee Cutshort might survive the grasshoppers to produce. Same goes for Penny Rile.

I have planted more Woods Mountain Crazy Bean than anything else. So far it's looking very good. I should have snaps soon. Grasshoppers seem not to notice it, which might be on account of it being a bush. I planted about 20' more of double row of this bean last Saturday, in hopes of a fall crop.

The last several years have been really hard on my seed collection. it's been hard to renew seed due to the erratic weather.

Next year I hope to put in a really large planting of Kentucky Red Cowpea, early, as cowpeas thrive in our heat and resist pests better than most beans.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:33AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

George, we're still close to the 90's some days, that's extremely hot for here LOL. I guess that's why my Barksdales are waiting for it to cool down. We usually have low to high 70's this time of year. I've had to put a floating remay cloth curtain in front of some pole beans to stop the leaves from frying to a crisp, it seems to be working.
Aren't those Woods Mountain Crazy Beans fantastic, they produce so many beans per plant. I hope they taste as good as they look. I think sunday we'll have enough Tennessee Cutshorts for dinner, still can't believe how good full beans taste.

I have more varieties in then I've ever planted before, seed renewal needed. So, I've been bagging a few flowers on each of them, this seed is designated for long term storage in the freezer, this way I'll be sure they haven't crossed. I'm going to try and do this with all my bean seed in the next couple of year, don't know how many years I have left doing what I love but at least I will be able to pass on a viable collection to someone else if the need arises. My mom lived to 103 so I'm hoping for a few more good years, maybe more then a few :).

Dick, Aunt Jean's are on my list for next year, along a lot more I haven't grown before, looks like I'll be planting as many varieties next year as I am this.
I think I'm down to just 3 or 4 more varieties that haven't produce anything yet but they were planted late, the vines look good and healthy just waiting for it to cool down a bit, at least that's what I'm hoping.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:30PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"... The last several years have been really hard on my seed collection. it's been hard to renew seed due to the erratic weather."

We're in the same boat there, George... the one going down the river without a paddle. More than figuratively in my case, I probably could have used a canoe in my garden earlier this year. Still have cattail seedlings in the garden to prove it.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:43PM
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Well, I've already started picking dry beans! Rockwell and Beka Brown were the earliest, but Calypso, Tiger's Eye, and Horto Semi-Bush were not far behind. Picked my first Soldier beans today, which was really exciting for me since this is THE bean my grandmother grew up eating for Saturday night baked beans and brown bread. You can't buy them where I live, and we're trying to get my grandparents to move out here from Ontario, so if I can grow enough of these to give my grandma a taste of home, that would be huge!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:36PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Well summer is over and fall is upon us. Most of my beans are finished, seed picked and drying in wicker baskets. I've got an umbrella over 'Barksdale' they're just starting to dry down now, yep, it's been raining. Again grew mostly everything for seed so not too much sampling.
So far I'm impressed with a new to me pole bean 'Ryder's Best' (thanks Ann) again another grown for seed this year. It is a vigorous grower and produced a lot of beans, didn't try them as snaps but plan on sneaking a few tomorrow for shellies. Some of the pods are dry enough to pick for seed but want to leave them as long as I can, they seem to be standing up to the rain we're having every other day.
I'm still picking dried pods from the 'Tennessee Greasy Mix' I'm fascinated with this bean, the pods are a kalidioscope of shapes and colors so far I have 3 different colors of seed from one color of seed planted.

The 'Andean' beans are still flowering and producing beans, I pick a few dried pods every other day, also picked the last 'Poletschka' today, from 15 plants I harvested 2.85 lbs. of seed. Has anyone eaten this one as a snap? What did you think of it?

I did a germination test on some older 'Cherokee Trail of Tears' it was late but planted them rather than toss them, they grew gangbusters and produced loads of beans, kept a few of the earliest ones for seed but we're eating the rest of them as snaps.

'Mrs. Fortune's' still aren't quite ready to pick for seed whereas 'Major Cook's' are done, inside finishing drying on a wicker tray. I think I may have to put an umbrella over 'Mrs. Fortune's' to keep the rain off, she not liking the rain at this stage of the game. The only other bean we're still eating is 'North Carolina Speckled Long Greasy Cutshorts' we had some for dinner on Sunday, very tasty.

'Flamingo' is loaded with beans now, they are turning that bright pink but when I steamed some for dinner last night they didn't turn yellow they turned grey, is that normal for these, they tasted OK but a little on the bland side compared to the 'NCSLGCS's'.

I have a few dried seed off the Aeron Purple Star runner I grew this year, these I'll add to the ones I kept back for next year, I was quite impressed with the way they grew for me and the flavor of the few we ate was really nice.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2014 at 1:10AM
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