Author Topic: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean  (Read 837 times)

JanG

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Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« on: July 02, 2020, 04:58:47 »
Looking back at old posts I see Big Gee originally offered seeds of the Aeron Purple Star he bred here on A4A. About six or seven years ago I think.

I asked for seeds this year and so growing them for the first time. Iím really impressed so far at their vigour and early pod set. IĎve got them by the side of Galaxy and Firestorm which are both varieties which are supposed to be crosses with French beans and so set pods early -  but APS is beating them both hands down.

Itís making me want to save seeds if I can. Would be interested to know if anyone has successfully bagged runner bean flowers to stop them crossing? Or any other methods?

Of course we havenít tasted them yet, but so far so very good!

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Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« on: July 02, 2020, 04:58:47 »

galina

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2020, 06:54:39 »
Yes, I have bagged them, but found the faff with taking bags off and handpollinating, then putting bags back on repeatedly quite difficult.  And I have found out that some (like Painted Lady) do quite well bagged and just shaken a bit, while others really would have needed the daily handpollinating too.   

If you live without other runners being grown in your neighbourhood and these are surging ahead, it may be an idea to allow only this variety to flower initially and take early flowers from the other varieties off.  You only need a few pods for enough seed for yourself.  Then all can provide you with beans later on once the early pods have set and been marked.  :wave:

 :wave: 

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2020, 07:45:39 »
Thanks. Needs to be quite a big bag too, I think.

Good idea to take flowers of the others off. Another year I could perhaps stagger the sowing more.

I've been bagging chilli flower clusters and find that fruit setting is quite low, so I can imagine it could be patchy with the runners too. More shaking required I think.

lezelle

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 08:51:27 »
Hi Ya, I have been growing Aeron purple for about 4 years. I sow them earlier than the other varieties and have managed to save some pure purple seeds. I look for the pure purple pods to save but will admit that they re getting scarce. I was a member of the Aeron vale website and corresponded with Big Gee and others quite often. I liked the web site he put together. I found the site started to decline and I have often wondered did I miss something, what happened to the site?, what about Big Gee?, is the site called something different? I know they were having problems with some yuppie idiots on the plots. I would be interested to hear of any news, Where did you get the seeds from JanG. I will search for the site again as it may of been resurrected. Any info would be most welcome. Thanks

galina

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 14:45:12 »
The website closed, Big Gee is quite active on facebook under the name of Gwilym Ab Ioan.

I don't know who grows the seeds now that Rob (who had an isolated farm and grew all the seeds) sadly and unexpectedly died   :wave:
« Last Edit: July 03, 2020, 15:36:18 by galina »

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 20:13:19 »
I would be interested to hear of any news, Where did you get the seeds from JanG. I will search for the site again as it may of been resurrected. Any info would be most welcome
lezelle, you can still request APS seeds from this website: https://aeronvale-allotments.org.uk/aeronpurplestar/ - but they have sold out for this year.
The site mentions a couple of 'triallers', so perhaps Gwilym has one or two people helping with the growing.
Beyond that, I'm afraid I don't know about any network around the beans but interesting to hear your experience of a few years ago.
I just requested 12 seeds and used all but one or two, which is why I'm keen to save seed if I can.

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2020, 17:41:45 »
Having said how impressed I was by Aeron Purple Star runner beans for their earliness, I picked the first four beans yesterday.

Certainly early but hardly purple at all, just a hint on one pod, so a bit less impressed now. I'm hoping that this won't be the whole story but rather disappointing at the moment

galina

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2020, 18:25:58 »
This echoes my experience  They get more purple as the pods age, but quite a number never get purple. :wave:

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 20:13:57 »
Does that mean that to get purple pods you have to wait till they're really tough and stringy?!

galina

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 22:29:30 »
No some seemed to get purple quite young, others at stringy maturity, and some never.  I asked for more seed to see whether this had now been selected out which I didn't get to grow this year.  It looks to me like the one with a hint of purple would have eventually got fully purple, the others would have stayed green

My original seeds were from a long time ago, when they first came out.  Before Rob (who briefly was active on here too) had taken over and reported all purple in the seeds he multiplied.  Not sure what happened since and it is difficult to keep runners pure breeding,  Mark the plant where the partially purple pod and any further came from and if you collect pure seed from those (bagged) and keep doing it for a couple or three years, you should have a pure breeding strain

Pity that it does not seem to have been selected to be pure breeding already.  I also had differences in length and width of pods.  They should all be the same.   

Maybe keep observing for a little longer and see how many will be purple and which ones will definitely not  :wave:


« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 22:32:49 by galina »

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2020, 04:06:41 »
Thanks. Iíll observe and hope to have a go at what you suggest.
My attempts at bagging runner bean flowers havenít been at all successful so far. Needs a biggish bag which is quite heavy for the poor flowers. I need to refine my technique!

lezelle

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2020, 10:01:24 »
Hi Ya, The purple runners I managed to save were the earliest ones to show. I still have a very few that I will try. Runners are notorious for cross pollinating with others so if any others are grown near you this may be why they are greenish. A lot of my later ones were the same. I am interested in the bagging idea and would like to see some piccies of the bags fitted to give a head start. Do you also hand pollinate? I have a friend who I gave some purple runners to as he grows in his back garden and may have better luck. Rob, (god rest him), was isolated on a smallholding I believe so was able to really isolate the plants. Happy gardening all.

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2020, 05:56:59 »
As far as I know cross pollination would only affect next yearís crop if I try to save seed and grow again so I donít think cross pollination in my garden can be producing these green beans. It will have happened last year or earlier before the seed was saved and offered.
When (hope!) I get a good purple bean producing plant, Iíll try to bag the blossom and post a pic. Bag is at the ready!

galina

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2020, 07:47:12 »
Yes, this is right Jan  :wave:

JanG

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Re: Impressed by Aeron Purple Star runner bean
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2020, 06:32:39 »
An update on Aeron Purple Star. As Galina said, Iíve found that some pods stay purple just down the edges but some achieve a satisfying purple as they age. The drawback to my mind is that on the whole you seem to need to leave them later than I normally would if you want purple beans, so I end up picking them when still green.

I havenít yet succeeded in bagging blossom as the bag has been too heavy for the raceme (is it a raceme? Do wish Iíd done Biology at school!) Must have another go.