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Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans

Posted by orcascove 6 Columbus Ohio (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 12, 10 at 0:19

Hi everyone!! For the very first time I am venturing into beans. I apologize but I do not know the technical terms for growing beans. So this post may sound overly layman. However because I don't know the terms, I would appreciate layman responses as well.

Here's my details: I am growing Black Yin Yang/ Calypso/Orca beans. I received them in trade, and could use some help.

There are only 2 people here, so I do not need or have room for 100 foot of anything, my veggie garden is a raised narrow (as in 80 ft by 2ft) well amended bed. It works great to plant tomatoes, brussel sprouts, and one other something I want to try new each year...

Here's what I have already found by internet searches, please let me know if it's NOT correct.

18-24 in tall bush bean - means it doesn't need trellis or support. Likes full sun to part shade, takes 90/100 days to mature for dry beans (which is my intention).

Here's what I would like to know about:

I have room to plant ONE row of these. It that ok or do they need to be done in multiple rows for pollination purposes? Could I maybe get away with zig zag staggering them if one row won't work?

How far apart do I plant the individual seeds. I found info saying plant 1 in deep, but nothing on the spacing. Anyone know how wide these get to determine spacing??

How many seeds should I plant to allow 2 people a meal? (I'm not looking to feed the whole neighborhood, just us, once or twice with something unique).

I run a soaker hose to make sure my tomato plants get the water they need (summers are hot here in Ohio). Should I be concerned about the beans rotting because of to much water? Are they dry soil or moist soil lovers?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans

Yin Yang/ Calypso/Orca is a bush bean, but a bigger than normal bush. Recomended spacing is 3-6 inches. They are self pollinating so a single row is fine. They are not as high yielding as more common dry bean types. Take about 3 months to mature. Water requirements are the same as for any other common bean. Normal rainfall is usually sufficient for field grown, but raised beds do require more water. Just make sure that the soil is wetted to a depth of at least 6 inches and allowed to dry out between watering. Deep watering once a week is better than frequent shallow watering. The roots need air and will drown if kept constantly in soggy soil. 40 ft of row should be sufficient for starters.

RE: Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans

That's all good info from farmerdilla.

I often plant double rows for efficient use of space in my small garden. Walkways are necessary but not between every row.


RE: Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans

Thanks!!! I appreciate the help!!

RE: Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans


I received both Calypso & Orca in a bean swap this year. The sender says they are two different varieties.


RE: Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans

Gary- hum, I wonder... I have done a lot of internet searching on them, and as far as I can tell the orca beans/yin yang beans are a variety of calypso. There are red calypso beans that look just like the orca ones except they are red where the black is. I imagine there are several other varieties of them I haven't seen, but I am new to the world of beans. So please do let me know if you find out the difference.

RE: Bean newbie requests help with Calypso beans

I grew Calypso last year. I planted the entire packet (which was something like 60-70 seeds) and ended up with about a pound and a half of beans. Also take into consideration that I planted late because I just moved, and a lot of the beans didn't have a chance to mature before frost, so if they had more time I would have gotten more. Oh, and they were also planted during a drought, which probably didn't help either.

So actually I was pretty happy with them. It was the first time I grew dry beans and I got a better harvest than I expected, especially considering they were grown under less than ideal conditions. A lot of people have told me that dry beans aren't worth growing, but I couldn't resist how pretty they are.

I ate one pound of them and kept what was leftover to replant. The beans are nice and fat and cooked up tender and good (though it was sad to see the pretty black and white beans cook up an ugly grey color).

I use the square foot method instead of rows. Each plant needs probably about 6 inches of room (so 4 to a square foot). If you got your seeds in trade you might not have enough to get a meal out of them this year. Whenever I do trades I only get 10-20 seeds. You might have to plant them out, save seed, and then plant all the saved seed before you get enough.

I'm also not sure orca and calypso are the same. Yes, they are both black and white, but I have some orca beans I recieved in trade too (haven't grown them yet), and they look different than the calypsos. They're smaller, and the spotting pattern is different. Maybe one year I should plant them both to compare their growth habits.

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