the beans

finally finished shelling and sorting the soy beans and weighed them. 44lbs.
all told we grew about 80lbs of dry beans last season. i don't think i'll grow soy beans next season and use those spaces for pinto beans and other beans.
a few dollar experiment turned out well as the spaces where i grew most of the dried beans were those i'd previously left bare for the last half of the season. kept the weeds down, soaked up extra moisture when it happened to rain, provides some nitrogen and protects the soil. a good deal for the price. probably keeping the worms and other soil critters happy too right about now as they are slowly decaying.
i learned a lot about a dozen more kinds of beans i'd not grown before and will likely keep adding to the selection of varieties as i get a chance.
should have better luck next year with many of them as they won't be planted as late and the ground will be higher (so they won't flood) and also they won't be planted with soy bean patches shading them as much.
as a cover crop to keep weeds down soy beans were by far the best. they grow big with wide leaves. the pinto beans and pink beans grew as vining plants and twisted around themselves. i didn't stake any of them. the green peas were self supporting and did well enough. only a little rot where things got crowded (the soy beans growing over the red beans in one patch and the soy beans growing over the dark red kidneys in another).
dark red kidneys should be picked as soon as the pod is dry enough if there is a lot of rain in the forecast. otherwise the beans at the bottom of the pod can start getting black mold on them and then the mold will spread up the pod. pink beans seemed similar. the light red kidneys did not have that kind of trouble, but they were also grown in a spot with better air flow so that could have been the factor there. next season should be better for that as there won't be soybeans towering and crowding.
blackeyed peas do not like any moisture on the pods at the end of the drying of the pods. i gave up and turned under the last of the blackeyed peas because i didn't like how they looked.
red beans split the pods easily so had to be picked gently.
borlatti beans are huge when shelled fresh. didn't actually cook and eat them at this stage but should give it a try next year. very productive plants.
butter beans take a long time to get to harvest, but they are wonderful fresh off the plant. if i'd planted these a month earlier they'd have finished nicely.
for the fresh eating green and wax beans the nice thing that happened was that some of the green beans developed pods that were much easier to shell the dry seeds from. i put these in a separate package for replanting hoping to continue this effect. i sure hope it does breed true as the shelling of the green beans takes a long time as those pods are very tough and hold the seeds tightly.
for peas and pea pods i'll have four to six varieties to play with next year. not sure where i'm going to put them, but it will get figured out. :) we like peas and peapods so much that we could easily not plant anything else.
when i was digging up many of these patches this fall i was able to observe the root structure of many of these beans and again by far the soy beans seemed to be the biggest improver of the soil if you base that upon how many roots and how big the root clump was. unfortunately it was not a fair and controlled experiment as the soy beans crowded out many of the surrounding bean patches. next season i will have a much better spacing set up because i won't have soy beans at all and i have the experiences with the other beans from this season to use in my plantings.
for next spring and early summer i'll have several tulip patches that had beans planted over them to monitor to see if the beans added organic matter and nutrients increase diseases. already i was able to tell from leveling two different gardens this fall that the beans made the bulbs under them quite happy in comparison to a garden that did not have beans planted over them. how that will carry through is a question to be answered, but i have my planting maps and notes ready for the spring tulip season. :) if things look to be going ok then i will have yet another garden to put beans over for the summer.
songbird
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wrote:

Thanks for report. The only beans I planted this past season were Cannellini that were started late in a small raised bed. I am thinking about more dried beans next year. You are inspiring me to do more. I tried lentils a couple of years ago and they got flooded out.
I have already decided to limit the varieties of tomatoes and peppers next year. A very large majority of the tomatoes will be Viva Italia since I can and make various sauces and other things with them. Better Boy and Early Girl for slicers and Jelly Bean for salads. Bell and maybe jalapenos for peppers.
Just hope I am up to doing what I want to grow next year and taking care of what I do manage to grow.
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wrote:

Jalapenos are like bell peppers, leave them on the plant and they turn red.
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wrote:

Get California Wonder Bell peppers and Jalapeno N. You may have to start these inside The instructions on my envelopes say to start indoors 8 weeks before last frost. Set out when soil temps are at least 55F. It probably takes 75 days to mature fruit.
You should probably check with your county extension agent for varieties that do well in your area.
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Derald wrote:

three pieces of cardboard with stripes cut in them would work fine. four (giving a second axis of movement) would provide even finer control, but is unlikely to be needed.
it's the dust that is the hardest thing to deal with effectively. the field combines just blow it out their asses. when changed to an in place operation then the risks of explosion and fire get a bit too high for my comfort level. static electricity can build up quickly and easily so there is likely a need for a conductive coating or ground wire mesh system embedded. hmm, yes, i think it is a good idea to let this one pass for the simpler method. i don't really want to get into even more epoxyness. i have enough experience with that already through doing seamless flooring for chem labs, etc. and don't really want to be breathing more of those fumes if i can help it... these days concrete, stone, wood and dirt are about as complicated as i wanna get...

so far it really is the simplest, low tech, quickest, cheapest method, but you have to be patient for the wind to get calm enough (around here that is often a challenge).
shelling green peas in the pod would take a whole different method than stomping. ew. that'd be a mess... hahaha. green toe jam...
songbird
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Thanks for the run down. I garden using two principals, one put forward by George Harrison "We have around 40 seasons to get things right" and two learn from others mistakes as we don't have time to make them all ourselves. Having said that if your looking for a small bean for next season I can recommend the adzuki bean. It has grown well for me here in Western Australia, where we have what is known as a Mediterranean Climate and watering has become an art.
Mike
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wrote:

Nice List. Maybe we can manage to swap a few. My email is correct if you want to talk.
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The Cook wrote: songbird wrote: ...

yes, it's a good start to work from.
thank you for the kind offer. :)
unfortunately i don't have any kinds that are unusual to trade. most of what i have can be obtained by going to the store and grabbing a bag of mixed soup beans.
similarly the wax, green, peas and soy, i don't think i have anything unusual there yet either.
just missed a supply of the christmas lima beans, those would have been a nice addition.
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