Runner Beans - An Observation

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by shiney, Jun 29, 2016.

  1. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    As most of you know, I work hard with my runner beans and grow about 200 plants. Whilst they are starting to grow I help them with training them to grow up the canes. There are always some that seem to wave around a lot without wrapping them selves around the canes, so I tie them to the canes with wool (it's very gentle).

    Even with having done that the beans still try to go off in the wrong direction and cross over and climb up the cane opposite. I don't mind this too much as they seem to do it in equal quantity and just swap over.

    I grow two plants per cane and the canes are about 2ft apart and cross each other at about a height of 3ft. So if they're just swapping over that's OK but sometimes they try to cross over and have all four climbing the same cane. This is fairly easily sorted.

    Occasionally the beans decide to cross over to the cane 2ft away. I tend not to notice this so much as they hide amongst the leaves of the plants. Yesterday when I looked more closely I noticed a peculiar phenomenon. All of them that had done so (about 20) had crossed to the cane that is North of them! I don't think prevailing winds can be the explanation as the wind direction changes.

    So what is the reason? :scratch:
     
  2. Freddy

    Freddy Miserable git, well known for it

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  3. Kandy

    Kandy Will be glad to see the sun again soon.....

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    I always assumed but could be wrong that they are tracking the path of the sun but not sure if that is correct.We have the same problem at times with ours and in the end I let them do their own thing as I get fed up with having to wrap them back round the cane I want them to wrap round:snorky:
     
  4. JWK

    JWK Gardener

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    I'd say it's lack of light too, as it's been so dull recently I see a lot of my veggies turning to the north, even my sunflowers have a very noticeable tilt towards north too. I have a lot of trees to the south of my garden which isn't helping.
     
  5. shiney

    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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    I'm not sure that light is a problem in my garden. The beans are in a wide open area.

    Of course, it could be that they're trying to get away from the EU. :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
     
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    • David K

      David K Keen Gardener

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      Best to remember that runner beans climb their supports in a anticlockwise direction, when tying them in, otherwise they will disobey and grow/go where they see fit.

      It has been suggested that they climb clockwise in Australia & water vortexes likewise in the plughole.......not sure about these complicated matters. :whistle:
       
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      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        Yes :blue thumb: I'm always careful about that. Although, having done it for 50 years it has become second nature.

        Neither are true. :noidea:

        Although the water does have a preference to go the other way. you can try that with the water in your sink. When you pull the plug, let it start to run away and then put your hand in the water and start swirling it in the opposite direction. It will continue to follow that direction. Haven't tried it since we did it as a school experiment in the 1940's. :old:
         
      • Kandy

        Kandy Will be glad to see the sun again soon.....

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        Blimey Shiney,you must be in your 80's then if you were doing experiments like that in the 1940's:snorky:
         
      • shiney

        shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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        Not quite, Kandy, I was at school then. :blue thumb:
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          I know the problem.
          but I dont grow beans any more.:biggrin:

          But I do have a perennial Ipomoea, it grows two kinds of stems, spreading and climbing, but I know that has no real bearing on beans from seed.
          The spreading stems do eventually start to twine.

          But I do have a feeling that beans sometimes grow stems that are non twining for a few weeks, at some point the stem gets slightly thinner and starts to twine around anything it touches.

          Tieing them in can stop them waving around, and I think its the waving around, and hitting something with a rough surface, that starts the twining process.
          Hop string or bean poles with bark are good .

          I did once see some time laps photography and its quite interesting how the stem rotates until it finds a support.
           
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          • HarryS

            HarryS Eternally Optimistic Gardener

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            I have seen that , amazing how some plants grow clockwise and some counter clockwise - there is a large word for that !:noidea:
            Late 90's I suspect from some of his posts Kandy :biggrin:
             
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            • Kandy

              Kandy Will be glad to see the sun again soon.....

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              I reckon you must be right there Harry because no school in their right mind would have let little ones do experiments so @shiney must have been in the big school so probably born in the thirties and the last war has been ended 70 odd years and has been retired 15 years so he says so must be quiet elderly especially with the dodgy back and knees he is always reffering to:snorky:
               
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              • JWK

                JWK Gardener

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                Shiney is pulling your legs, I've met him at his open days and he doesn't look a day over 40.
                 
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                • Beckie76

                  Beckie76 Total Gardener

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                  @shiney @"M" has only taught me how to look after the asparagus, so I can't offer any help!!! :noidea:

                  :lunapic 130165696578242 5:
                   
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                  • shiney

                    shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                    I remember going to see Flanders and Swan in this show in 1957
                     
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                      Last edited: Jun 30, 2016
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