Dry Bush Beans Grex

How did the dry bush beans grow for you?

Find anything you love?

Here’s what went into the grex. Most of the seeds were from the arid west: northern Utah, southern Colorado.

Beans, climbing, mix/landrace
Beans, common, 11 inbred varieties
Beans, Common, Beefy Resilient Grex
Beans, common, black mix
Beans, Common, Bush grex
Beans, common, bush-ish grex
Beans, common, grex
Beans, common, grex
Beans, Southwest grex
Beans, Common, Landrace
Beans, Common, Pole grex
Beans, Common, Lofthouse dry bush
Beans, cowpea
Beans, cowpea
Beans, Cowpea, bush and vining
Beans, most prolific, semi-climbing
Beans, runner
Beans, tepary
Beans, tepary, Lofthouse
Beans, White Tepary


Ooh, it’s exciting to hear more of them were from the arid west! That bodes well for them liking my garden. :smiley:

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I’m cutting back on my beans a little bit this year and growing it a way to try to discover off-types to identify crosses. I think there are quite a few of them. But I do think the fairly numerous off types I see are actually segregations from just a few actual crosses that happened in years past rather than new ones.

I’ve made fifty easily moveable and reusable trellises and have started sorting beans by visible type (I think visible differences of the seed are not the only possible differences but won’t get into that). Anyway, sorted by visible type each of the different ones will have its own little trellis just big enough for maybe five plants rather than growing them all together as I generally do.

If any off types show up on a single trellis, I’ll know it is either a new cross or a segregation from an older one, but I won’t know which. It will also be easier to see which are most productive and which better meet my preference in vine growth habit. Assuming I discover any for sure off types, I’ll make them available in the next round of the seed box.

I’ll be doing this will my lima beans and cowpeas as well, but I don’t think I’ve had a cross in cowpeas yet. I also have not seen nearly as much crossing in lima beans as I expected given that they are supposed to be much more prone to it than common. Runner beans are like that too, I’ve planted lots of colors but still only get back the basic brown and blue, I don’t know what’s up with that.

This is just from my own seeds though; I didn’t get in on the GTS seeds.


I threw them into a wooded grove!

By means of explanation:

  1. I knew the seeds would be awesome
  2. I have had great luck broadcasting awesome beans into shaded locations
  3. Stewarding seeds that grow well in forest settings is important to me
  4. We have open wooded growing spots at our place that I don’t have to think twice about planting in
  5. I have some other broadcasted beans growing just fine in this area already

Watering seeds to get them to germinate is a chore and also feels silly with forest clay. I also prefer not to soak my beans first because it’s less work and feels more natural. I threw them out ahead of rain within the last month and probably just a few weeks back.

Might be hard to see but there’s also not a ton to see at this point. They’ve mostly all not only germinated but rooted and gotten going. Some of the most established beans are borlotto and Cherokee black pole beans from an earlier planting. There’s some quinoa back here too though it’s probably not easy to see. Some of the other growing things are sedge, solomon’s seal, what I think is a GTS watermelon, and a bunch of bush honeysuckle whose footprint on the property decreases each year.

Can’t wait to get some of the GTS common bean mix :grin:


I am very interested in your forest beans, and I hope you will post about them again as the season progresses. Very interested :star_struck:


Eight days later:

I added some grocery-sourced white lablab (growing elsewhere and seemingly bush habit), pigeon pea from both Lowell and grocery, black chickpea, and a few other things one week after the first photo. I want to avoid planting other common beans in this area at this point because I don’t want to muddle my understanding of what beans got planted when.

The quinoa seems toast. Nice thought. I also tried corn here earlier in the year and that didn’t come up either (or more likely in my mind based on corn that did come up here and got eaten, got eaten).

You can tell varmints have definitely eaten on the beans. I’m going to flag the beans that got eaten down to the stalk. If any of them go on from there to make seeds they will likely be favored. I know there are stewards who would do the exact opposite to select for pest resistance of avoid selected for pest susceptibility, but the way I see it, that bean fed the creatures and it fed my family too.

Some context on where this is happening:

I have more beans growing in weird places but they aren’t GTS beans - - yet :wink:


Devoured by rabbits!

They grew with great vigor but were picked off one by one.

This year has taught me a lot about the difference between sensible and less sensible risks. Planting forest beans? Sensible. Planting the whole GTS dry bean mix? Not.

Small adjustments would have made it sensible again - - most notably, planting fewer seeds from the mix in these conditions.

Out in the yard things are a lot more exposed to predators. There’s also much more vegetation to eat. For both these reasons it’s less likely enterprising small animals will do a comparable amount of damage to any given crop, even if sparsely planted.

I found @Lauren 's notes on overdoing it with dry farming in a prior season very helpful to my decision-making this season. I think it likely I would have made more mistakes this year had I not read them. Perhaps I can pay it forward in the same way.


What thread did she talk about that in? It sounds familiar, but I can’t recall exactly what she said. Methinks I should reread her sagacity. :wink:

I can’t remember, but I read about it several times, and maybe watched a YouTube video. It’s possible it was all on the Thinkific forum though. The first post was

Phenomenal! Just started the shelling process and it’s so much fun with all the different colors! The beans grew vigorously. I didn’t use a trellis though I knew there were some pole beans in there too. I just let them make a big tangle of it.

Will be cooking them as a mix, and down the line, if I have the patience, I’ll apply my own selection based on taste.

Cool beans😁


Yes, indeedy! Cool beans. :grin:

Did you have enough to cook some to eat?

Totally! Made a few batches of extra-beany minestrone soup with frozen tomatoes from the summer. Nothing like food from your own garden :smile:

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Sounds yummy! That’s very exciting. :slight_smile: