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what happened to my beans?

 
                                                
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a few weeks ago, these were vibrant producers, deep dark green leaves, seemed healthy and happy.  I just pulled them from this bed, and my other bed of them looks like its headed down the same path.  Any idea what this is?  I want to plant something in these beds for a fall crop, is this going to carry over and infect whatever I plant there now? Should I solarize the beds for a while first? any advice would be appreciated.
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Ken Peavey
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Looking at the spots on the beans and the leaves in the first image, it looks like a mosaic virus.  These beans are done for the season.  You might do well to burn whatever remains, living or dead, right where it is.  Don't save the seeds.  Next season, put your beans in a different location, add compost and worms, spray whatever you plant with compost tea, diversify the crops, add in some aromatic herbs and some ornamental flowers. 
 
John Polk
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I totally agree with Ken.  For your fall crop, I would suggest anything except another legume.  I don't know your climate/location, but green leaf lettuces might be a viable option...they usually do well as a cool weather crop.
 
                                
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Location: Eastern Colorado, USA
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I wholeheartedly yet respectfully disagree with throwing out the seed.

If your beans survived whatever killed them for long enough to produce seed, save it.  Seed saved from them, planted next year, will have more resistance.  Consistent seed saving, and careful selection, every year, will lead you to disease-free cultivars. 

The disease is not transmitted through the seed's genes.  Only resistance is passed on.  Weakness fails.  If you plant the same old seed next year, instead of the new saved seed, you'll get the same problem no matter what you do to your soil.

It can take a few generations, but the patience pays off in a resistant bean.  Save the biggest and healthiest in appearance... no genetic testing necessary... just go by what looks good.  By doing this, I have tomatoes that are affected by nothing, and green beans that survive spring frost, for two examples.

This is how it has been done since man learned to plant seeds. 
 
George Lee
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TheDirtSurgeon wrote:
I wholeheartedly yet respectfully disagree with throwing out the seed.

If your beans survived whatever killed them for long enough to produce seed, save it.  Seed saved from them, planted next year, will have more resistance.  Consistent seed saving, and careful selection, every year, will lead you to disease-free cultivars. 

The disease is not transmitted through the seed's genes.  Only resistance is passed on.  Weakness fails.  If you plant the same old seed next year, instead of the new saved seed, you'll get the same problem no matter what you do to your soil.

It can take a few generations, but the patience pays off in a resistant bean.  Save the biggest and healthiest in appearance... no genetic testing necessary... just go by what looks good.  By doing this, I have tomatoes that are affected by nothing, and green beans that survive spring frost, for two examples.

This is how it has been done since man learned to plant seeds. 

Ditto.
 
John Polk
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You may get more resistant seed, and you may get weakened seed.  My suggestion would be to save some seed, and to buy some fresh seed.  Plant both next year (in separate areas), and then save seeds from whichever plot does best.
 
                                
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Location: Eastern Colorado, USA
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John Polk wrote:
You may get more resistant seed, and you may get weakened seed.  My suggestion would be to save some seed, and to buy some fresh seed.  Plant both next year (in separate areas), and then save seeds from whichever plot does best.



Correct... sort of.  According to Mendelian genetic theory, you would be 100% correct.

But that has not been my experience, nor has it been the experience of the majority of old-fashioned plant breeders.  It appears as though Mendel did not have everything quite completely under control when it comes to pathogen resistance.  It does work for some traits, it's true... but traits which do NOT necessarily translate to survivability, such as coloration or flavor.

My bet... and yes, I would bet money... is that saving this seed and planting next year would show a noticeable reduction in pathological harm.  I am that confident!

What do you say?  Small wager? 
 
George Lee
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I saved some pintos that were afflicted near the end of their growing cycle with a mosiac/spot virus..Curious how they do in the coming spring with their vunerablility to disease .
 
                                
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Location: Eastern Colorado, USA
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I realized it might be a good idea to provide some more information.  Here is a link to some free e-books about plant breeding, by Raoul A. Robinson.

http://www.sharebooks.ca/content/plant-breeding-ebooks-raoul-robinson
 
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