Another bean question

aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. CanadaOctober 22, 2010

Will beans climatize to my growing conditions if I keep planting seed from the previous year's crop? I had limited success growing Chinese Red Noodle in the greenhouse this year, had a couple of feeds and I even managed to save a few seed. If I plant this seed next year, again in the greenhouse what are the chances I might even get better results using my own seed, or, is this just wishful thinking on my part. I really like the flavor of CRN's and would like to grow this one every year.

I also had one or two varieties in the garden that produced but not gangbusters, I would like to try them again with the seed I saved from this years crop. What are your thoughts on this?

Annette

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macmex

Annette,

You might have limited success with the Chinese Red Noodle, just because you'd be "pushing the envelope" more. Yardlongs simply want heat. But it's worth a try, since you did get some production.

I do not understand the mechanism involved. But I have observed that growing a couple seasons of saved seed does seem to result in improved performance in a given location and climate.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 5:34AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Thanks George, although Barksdale was late flowering it did produce a few good looking beans, I left all of them for seed so no taste test. I pulled the vines and finished drying them in the greenhouse before the weather turned, I did manage to get a few decent looking seeds, enough to try them again next year :).

The Chinese Red Noodles were so tasty I'll buy seed every year if I have to, the seed I harvested was slightly wrinkled but I think it should still be viable, it's another bean I'm willing to persevere with.

Annette

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 3:38PM
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fusion_power

Annette,

You are describing something that drives biologists crazy. There is an effect that can occur in plants where they modify their own DNA to become better adapted to a climate. However, it is not normally something that you expect to notice in your garden. If you want to read about this effect, look up "transposon" in corn.

When you grow heirloom varieties, often it is a composite with seed expressing different traits because the genetics are not identical in every seed. When you grow such a composite, the adapted plants produce seed and the unadapted fail. You can easily produce an adapted variety from such a composite variety. Just keep growing for 3 or 4 years and voila they will adapt.

The bad news is that when you try to grow a tropical plant in a severely limited northern climate, you are too far outside the envelope for much adaption to occur. In other words, no matter how many times you grow the seed, you will continue to get a very limited crop. This is what you can expect with cowpeas in your area.

DarJones

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 7:33PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Thanks Darrel, in future I won't bother trying to save seed from the CRN's I'll just buy seed. I only had 8 plants in the greenhouse, they produced a couple of feeds and I left a couple for seed. I'll double up on the number of plants in the greenhouse next year, at least we'll get a taste.

Annette

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 10:37PM
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happyday(WI4a)

Is CRN really a tropical plant that can't adapt? It's from Southern China, the same latitude as Baja California and Northern Mexico. That's warm but not tropical. Annette is Z8 on the banana coast, I think she's got a shot at adapting the bean to her climate. Inland southern China probably freezes more often than the West Coast at that latitude.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 11:11PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

Annette, the desired outcome that you describe did seem to happen with my favas. I originally purchased Windsor favas from a seed company much farther north than my gardening location. The first year they were limping along, not very productive and prone to infestation from aphids. I was not able to eat many of them but I saved seed from the best specimens. The second year they were vigorous, productive, and the aphids were controlled. This third year they are sprouting out of the ground like they are in a rush. I am also trying two more fava varieties that might be even better adapted to zone 9.

A counter example of this was my yard long cow peas. I got them in a trade from a z9ner, they sprouted and did well last year, so I saved seed. This year they gave me a total of 6 beans, and they look like they want to die. The plants started well and looked good, but we have had an unusually cool summer, not enough integrated heat to grow any cow pea. I love the pink-eye purple hulls, but not so much the yard longs, so I am giving up on them. Good thing, since I will not even be able to save seed for it.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 3:37PM
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tracydr(9b)

Cabrita, when do you plant your favas and when do you harvest?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 11:37AM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

I plant them in October and harvest sometime in March-April. We found out our favorite way to eat them is to let the seeds mature completely, harvest them when still green, and steam/peel. This is why it takes a while, we are harvesting the fava shellies basically. You will get pods a lot sooner but we did not much care for the snaps. The two new (to me) varieties I am trying are supposed to be earlier, so I will post on how they do in the spring. So far I have only grown Windsor to maturity, but I have sprouts of the two others! Favas are so delicious.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 12:57PM
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rxkeith(z5 MI)

annette,

the bean i have the most experience with is my uncle steve beans. in lower michigan, they do very well most years. my 10 years growing them in da U.P. far northern michigan it was always right down to the wire trying to save seeds before frost. the pods were rarely crispy dry. usually they were at the leathery stage which is good enough. yield was usually lower due to weather vs having to leave beans to set seeds early on. i can't say i noticed mine doing better each year with replanted seeds. i guess it depends on the bean, and how extreme the climate change is. you do have the benefit of the green house at any rate.

keith

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 10:18PM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

'Cascade Giant' is said to be an improvement over 'Oregon Giant', would this be from selection or a cross, anyone know? I have both of these but haven't grown 'Cascade Giant' out yet.
I seem to have acquired quite a lot of beans trying to match up my italians to something already out there. Still haven't come up with a match, there's too many green pole beans with purple markings to wade through, I give up LOL.

Keith, Your Uncle Steve's did good :). We had some good feeds and there was lots left for seed. I had to pick most of the ones left for seed before they were brittle dry because of the weather this year but on a normal year there should be no problem leaving them until they're brittle dry. The reddish markings on these beans faded out some as they finished drying, other than that I've got a good stash of Uncle Steve's now.

Annette

    Bookmark   October 27, 2010 at 12:08PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Grandma Roberts' Purple Pole beans are very early for me, they would be good for shorter season areas. Fusionpower said on another thread he is sending some to Sand Hill so they will sell them next year.

I grew Fava beans in San Diego. They did fine in winter for me. My Armenian neighbors were astounded to see them in my garden, I think they thought Americans didn't know anything about them. They would cook the pods, not wait for the mature beans, and changed water several times. I can't remember if they added baking soda or anything to the first water. I noticed in this year's Territorial seed catalog they advertise a Fava bean called Statissa that says the pods can be eaten whole when young and tender.

Here is a link that might be useful: Statissa

    Bookmark   November 18, 2010 at 6:01AM
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jlgbubba

I planted Italian green beans and even though there was an abundance of foliage the beans were very, very small. Anyhow know the reason why the beans didn't mature?

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 1:56PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

jlgbubba- what date did you plant the beans? Did you presoak them? I get much better germination and faster growth if I presoak overnight then rinse and drain beans several times a day and wait until the root starts to sprout before planting.

Last year was a very cold summer in my area, maybe the beans will have more heat to get them going next year.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 6:11PM
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