Re: Question about how to save legume seeds #NewSeedLibrary #SeedSaving #SeedQuality #NativeSeeds #ResilientGardens
I grow several varieties of lima, fava, garbanzo, and common beans almost every year.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
For fava beans, I only grow one variety in one plot at a time for saving seeds. They are self-pollinating but the flowers are gorgeous and attract lots of pollinators so I split them for grows in three small plots that are available for my use. Two of the plots are significantly isolated so I can save at least two varieties a year, planted in fall and harvested in May where I live in California.
Lima Beans: Love them! And grow for dry beans. So far, I’ve had no issues growing three or four varieties in my 400 sq ft garden, separating them at least 10’ from each other like common beans. I have five favorites, pole type, and like to include at least one new variety each year to trial, though I try to be careful regarding the common lima disease that would contaminate my soil. To that point, this year is a rest year.
Garbanzo beans: If you have ever eaten fresh green garbanzo beans, you know what I’m talking about! Yum. Well, I’ve grown a number of varieties, including the big tan ones you see in cans, black, brown, red, and green. Kabuli and Desi. Big tan & big black are kabuli and the others usually desi, smaller & probably more ancient, from the Middle East (Syria) to India. Isolation is recommended but as with other beans, I’ve grown them 5’-10’ apart with no apparent crossing.
Common beans: 10’ minimum distance from each other. Sometimes you might see a change, but overall, saving for trait preservation is super easy.
Tepary beans: One variety at a time, mostly for space issues, but I don’t keep them going every year, just once every few years.
Soy beans: I grow them now and then, but other than a couple edamame sessions, they are not a staple for me, just an experiment/experience.
Peas: I don’t worry about cross-pollination. Last year I grew a variety (mis-labeled) from a long time bean guy/horticulturist. It produced quite delicious mature brown peas, also edible flattish pods when young, grew to about 7’, and provided super abundant biomass. I’ve never seen or eaten sweet fresh brown peas before!
In a growing season, I map out distances and alternate species so that they stay happy. Research last year said that soybeans originated from the common bean line, long long ago, but they do share some genetic traits. Black tepary beans may also share some common bean traits, allowing them to cross on very rare occasions.
Hope this helps.