Does any bean seed company de-rouge their plots? - Knowledgebase Question

Illinois
Question by DonE2017
September 9, 2017
I've grown blue lake beans for over 50 years and until the last 10 or 15 years had good seed. Now, a large percentage of the seed is of a flatter, tougher bean and it's been getting worse year by year. This year I estimate that over 80 percent of my beans were of the rogue variety. I'd like to find a place to buy seed that is "pure."

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Answer from Weedwhacker
September 9, 2017

0

Multiple seed companies often obtain seed from the same grower -- so it's difficult to know exactly where the seed that you're buying is from.

My best suggestion would be to save your own seed, from the type of plants that you prefer. Beans are about the easiest seeds in the world to save -- just let the pods keep growing until they are large and pretty well dried out, pull them off the plants and spread them out to dry some more. Then when you feel like it you can shell out the bean seeds and plant them in the spring.

Illinois
A comment from DonE2017
September 9, 2017
I've thought about doing that, but It'll have to wait until next year when I can isolate a vine of the good kind so it doesn't get cross pollinated. Right now about 50% of the beans being produced are from the "flat" seed; about 30% are from seed that is apparently hybrid -- they are not quite as flat and a little more meaty. Therefore chances are that any seed I save off the good vines would be hybrid. I was in hopes that someone knew where I could buy pure blue lake seeds.

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Image
A comment from Weedwhacker
September 9, 2017
Beans don't really cross-pollinate that often; which is why you don't find hybrid varieties for sale. I grow quite a few different types side by side -- planting beans that have obviously different seeds next to each other -- and have never had them cross. You might want to consider getting seeds from someone on the Seed Savers Exchange.

Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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A comment from fwmosher
December 30, 2017
If you are not happy with your "Blue Lake" pole bean seed (presumably as you mentioned vines), try something new: Pole Bean "Carminat" is a purple podded bean which easily grows to 12 " long pods, is never, ever tough, even when well past pick time. Straight, round pods, and so easy to see, because of their dark purple colour. Best Pole Bean I have ever grown! My second choice is always "Emerite" with long round green pods, and over 9" at least, but if left unpicked, does become inedible! Try them!

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