Broad Beans

Hi. I have been saving seeds from my broad beans for five years now; red seeded, originally from Koanga Gardens. This year for the first time a number of the beans are normal green - there is no intermediate shading, they are all either red or green. I guess this means red is recessive? Anyway, I like the look of the red and choose the deepest red seeds to plant - so how can I keep the colour going?

Neither of my neighbours have gardens, though I don't know about further away. . . so is this likely to be cross pollination or just random luck?

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  • Sorry moggy but i'm thinking it is a throw back or a recessive gene but this more likely if there's been some resent cross pollination, this may well have been up to 20 generations previous or even more,but of cause the longer a true line is maintained with out any cross contamination the less likely a recessive gene will show up.

    As a grower for koanga we have come a long way in our knowledge of seed sowing/saving etc but unfortunately in these early day of Koanga Gardens there were a number of people who even though were dedicated to the cause of wanting to save what was left of our heritage seed lucked the the understanding of the importances of isolation and this may well be where it has come from .

    As Koanga's grower of the Scotland Broad Bean, ive always been fortunate to have good isolation between me and other gardeners, but also by supplying my gardening neighbours with my seed has helped.

    To date ive had no variation or recessive genes in the last 20 years,so thankfully its now a very stubble line.

    If you want to keep the colour you prefer, pull out pronto the ones with the wrong colours and also ask about your area who else is growing broad beans and give them your seed

  • Thanks for the feedback guys - I appreciate it. Like Kali says, the difference in taste is minimal. I liked the colour because I was growing both peas and broad beans, picking the beans when young - about pea size - and freezing them together. The colour contrast made the mix look good and both cooked quickly - ideal for adding to stir fries or pasta. 

    I will keep planting the reddest of the red and hope I can keep the colour going.

  • Beans do cross pollinate also and some insects can travel quite a distance.

    If in previous years you have not had this problem, I doubt it is due to a recessive gene as it would have shown itself in the first or second year.  Keep doing what you are doing and keep the red ones only as they are likely to have been self polinated

    • I haD  A number of green ones grow amongst the red ones I planted from the seed exchange. pity you can't tell until the beans form and then any crossing is already done. The only thing you can do is as Moggy says keep the most desirable ones to plant.

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