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Three way Suess Becker cross?

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  • Three way Suess Becker cross?

    I wanted to grow out enough Suess Becker bean this year to share. But I think my plan may be on hold for a year as I had 3 off types in the row of around 18. Two green podded bush types and a purple podded low climber. I've left the off-types all to grow although the dogs did do damage to one of them. I don't think these are stray seed as SB is pale and fairly plain.

    Off type 1 with a round pod, flowers and buds were a darker shade than for Suess Becker, pods are distinctly rounder.
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    Last edited by jayb; 29-08-2021, 07:29.

  • #2
    Type 2 flat
    Flowers were a giveaway, darker than SB's although the pods on the surface do look very similar.

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    • #3
      Type 3
      Again a rounder type pod but purple, plus a low climbing habit.

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      • #4
        Interesting. A quick google threw up Tom Wagner’s explanation of this bean and his strong wish to keep it going. Have you grown it on a few times already?

        Are you now feeling that you want to grow it on a few more times to stabilise your line?


        • #5
          I’ve grown Suess Becker bean 4 or 5 times and previously noted no off-types, it has always been stable and true to type and I was surprised to see off-types in the row. It is a good sturdy and reliable sort, easy to grow, crop and shell. It’s predominantly a drying bean, although I know Tom says the family used it as a green bean too. As green beans, SB do have a good beany flavour but to my taste, you have to catch them on the young side of young to be good.

          I think I last grew SB in 2017 although the plants I’m growing this year may be from 2015 seed. Suess Becker is a variety I previously shared with a4a seed circle, though that was a few years ago. I’ve been wanting to bulk up the numbers to be able to share again, it really deserves to be out there, it’s a bean I’m fond of and would hate to lose. I don’t think we have a dedicated thread for it here yet.

          It might just have been a bad year for beans crossing the year these were harvested for seed, but I don’t know. Next year I’ll grow Suess Becker in its own private spot and cull anything not true to type.

          And for the 3 crosses, I’m thinking I won’t be able to resist growing them out! I’m wondering if the purple one could be crossed with Roberts Royalty, if I can locate my grow list I can see if I grew any other purple podded varieties the same year.