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Bean mosaic virus?

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Bean mosaic virus?

I never have good results growing beans here (SoCal, not too far from the high desert). Few ever sprout. Those that do never grow above 4-6" high and product 1-3 podseach, if they live long enough. (Note - I use legume inoculant on most, but not all, seeds of each type of bean. I always plant in a set of half soaked and half unsoaked. Because science. I also generaly plant new plants that I haven't yet had success with in a variety of soil types ranging from pure potting soil to unimproved local soil, generally a few seeds at a time at 2-3 week intervals during the months when conditions are favorable to sprouting (if I'm feeling particularly stubborn, I'll plant from february to july and from september to early december).

It was therefore with trepidation that I planted my first english peas (Green Arrow from Botanical Interests) last year. I was delighted when they grew well and produced many delicious pods.

I recall looking at the foliage toward the end of the season and thinking it looked... off. Weather-bitten and pitted. Not pretty. But the plant kept growing and producing. I figured it was the heat getting to it.

This year in addition to Green Arrow I planted Super Sugar Snap (from Renee's Garden) and Wando (from Botanical Interests). Sugar is doing fine (though I planted it late so it's just now flowering). Wando never game up. All the pea plants, while growing happily and producing, look funny. Sugar has white streaks.

I tried yard long beans this year. They came up but did not grow well. The foliage was warped, brittle, and had yellow splotches.

I looked through my seed packets. Of all the legumes I have planted here (peas, bush beans, pole beans, scarlet runner beans, yard long beans, two varieties of edamame, cowpeas, and sweet peas) only two of the packets say "Disease resistant."

Green Arrow and Super Sugar Snap. The two that actually grew.

So uhh... anyone have a favorite disease resistant variety of warm-season legume? The more heat tolerant the better. I want something for fresh eating (I'd be happiest with edamame but I'm not getting my hopes up), but I confess I'd be happy to grow a dry bean or even an ornamental just to HAVE SUCCESSFULLY GROWN A BEAN PLANT. (It is amazingly frustrating to have a garden overflowing with wonderful things like garlic and tomatoes and eggplant and funny-looking lettuces, only to be defeated by something traditionally grown as an exercise by kindergarteners! I don't even like green beans all that much!)

I'm betting on mosaic virus, although my experience diagnosing plant diseases starts end ends with the phrase "Google Image Search."


Posted by meghan on May 26, 2013 at 03:14 and edited at May 26, 2013 at 03:17

For whatever it's worth, this info sheet from Rutgers (, PDF link) suggests that edamame are relatively disease resistant--it might be worth it to put some in and see what happens.

edited to try and fail to make markdown work

Posted by oakandsage on May 28, 2013 at 01:37

Thanks, I was having trouble finding info on edamame disease resistance. I have some edamame in right now, and they're not showing visible signs of disease, although they're not getting any bigger, either. The other weekend I thought they were finally going to start vining, but then they just... stopped.

Posted by Skud on May 31, 2013 at 14:09

Are edamame any different from just plain soy beans? I thought it was just soy beans that were eaten when young and green.

Posted by oakandsage on May 31, 2013 at 16:24

Not different, but specific cultivars of soy bean are grown for edamame. I think it has to do with the size of the individual beans.