Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a Hampshire garden. I've been growing veggies since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Some traditional varieties and old favourites as well as new ideas. I share my garden with my allotment assistant Daisy the Labrador. On Twitter as @MatronsVeggies

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Season of Fruitfulness

Gosh it was windy here in London yesterday! So of course, I was watching the 'windfall' apples fall from the Bramley tree on to the grass. Not a mark on them, so they were scooped up almost perfect!
I picked my heritage climbing beans 'Mrs Fortunes' yesterday too. I'd left them on the vine for as long as possible, but they were ready for picking and drying yesterday. But I noticed a funny thing as I opened some of the pods to look inside.
Most of the beans were white with purple flecks.
Some of them had mirror image beans on either side of the pod.
And some were purple with white flecks. Is there a scientific name for this phenomenon? I think I've come across it in the past, anyone out there with genetics knowledge?
Elsewhere on the patch, I have been defoliating my tomato plants after reading a very useful blog about late tomato blight by Mr Tomato King. Lots of useful pictures on information on how to spot late blight, how to hold it back for as long as possible. A really interesting post. Above are some Alicante tomatoes.
Above are an F1 variety called Elisir. I bought this plant from a local hardware store after I suffered a bad frost in the Spring. I'd not heard of this variety, but I am seriously impressed. Lovely clean, round, heavy tomatoes. Ripen to a deep red colour.
I love the way that these Gardeners Delight tomatoes hang down in double strings, like pearls. They have a wonderful flavour and they produce a nice sized tomato, just a bit bigger than a cherry tomato. Defoliating the lower plant like this allows air circulation around the plant which helps prevent or slow down blight. It also allows sunlight on to the fruit to ripen it.


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Vegetable Heaven said...

This mirror image of beans isn't uncommon Matron. I have no idea what causes it. It would be interesting to sow the dark ones and see if they all come up dark. I've heard it referred to as 'Night for Day' but that's not scientific! I haven't had it myself but I've seen it reported by others.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Green Lane Allotments said...

Last year we got blight or greenhouse tomatoes on the plot and I stripped off any affected leaves as soos as I spotted them - it seemed to work as we had a good harvest.

You look to have a good lots of tomatoes to protect!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Rob said...

Hi Matron, the apples look good, I might be down to do some scrumping after tea! Do kids still do that?

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous ~fer said...

That is a very full tomato plant, do you use any kind of fertilizer?

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Matron said...

fer - I used a very diluted tomato feed about once every 2 or 3 weeks. I was determined not to 'overfeed' this year. Pleased with the results.

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Nate said...

No idea what causes the odd mixture of colour forms, either, but they are are rather beautiful!

At 6:49 PM, Blogger Jo said...

Hi Matron, thanks for visiting my blog. Back home in SA my blog and posts are mainly about my garden and pets. So thanks for the welcome! I love your allotment. What a bounty. And no, I have never seen the phenomenom of the beans. Interesting. And yum to the variety of tomatoes. I'll be back for more. Have a wonderful day. Jo (Khartoum)

At 6:53 PM, Blogger Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Interesting observation on the beans.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous ~fer said...

The fertilizer sure did its work
I want to try new ways on raising my tomatoes for next year, this season is over for me. I just harvested the last ones.

Oh by the way.
Back when i was a kid and had a garden with my dad. We saw that kind of things with the beans often. Sometimes when raising beans that are a combination of two types if they reproduce with the same kind they regress to the original two. Is funny how genetic works.

At 2:38 PM, Anonymous ~fer said...

Tanks Matron
by the way when i was a kid me and my dad grew beans. We sometimes saw this, when a bean comes from a mix of two strands and they reproduce with each other, they regress to the original. We didn't grew this kind but i think is the same effect. It looks the same.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Rebsie Fairholm said...

Ah, that reversal of colour is something you often see in beans, and sometimes it's a whole pod's worth and sometimes it's completely random. The "alternating" pattern you have there is one I haven't seen very often!

I don't know what causes it, and I've discussed it with a few other plant breeders and nobody seems to know.

One thing I can tell you though, it is entirely normal for this variety and certainly isn't caused by a cross with something else. So you needn't have any concerns about sharing your seeds with other people. Every crop of Mrs Fortune's will come up with some reverse-colour beans in about the same proportions each time. It probably isn't genetic at all ... or if it is, it doesn't follow normal rules of inheritance.

A couple of years ago I did an experiment with Mrs Fortune's. I picked out all the reverse-colour beans and sowed them separately. And the result? Exactly the same as if I'd sown a normal batch of Mrs Fortune's, with exactly the same proportions of normal coloured ones and reverse-coloured ones. So clearly the reversed ones are genetically identical to the normal ones, and it isn't possible to develop a purple version by selecting the purple seeds. When I compared notes with other people who had done similar experiments with other varieties of bean showing the same reversing tendencies, they all reported exactly the same thing. Whatever the cause, it's just something that beans do!

The term "day for night" is what me and Patrick at Bifurcated Carrots came up with when we were discussing the phenomenon a few years ago. It's just our own name for it, but it seemed to fit!

At 6:58 PM, Blogger Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I've never really grown beans, so I haven't seen the variations like you've gotten. They are very pretty though.
I'm hoping to get a tomato to ripen sometime soon. Our weather has not been consistently warm all summer.

PS Keep me posted on the dogblog post, Gracie would love it :)

At 11:40 PM, Blogger Dawn said...

I am so impressed with your beans. And fairly aghast at your toms and sweetcorn. We are still very very new to this, so watching and learning all the time.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Bangchik said...

Mirror image.. They look stunning, and it does indicate the freedom beans are enjoying in determining the arrangement of seeds in pods. Beans are artistic at least.... ~banngchik

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous isabella gift said...

Your beans and tomatoes are really healthy. As I can see on your veggies photos you are a great gardener. I am envy with your tomatoes. They are really reddish and big. Yummy! I can’t wait to see what will you cook in your next post.

At 5:39 AM, Anonymous rose platinum said...

I think the fertilizers really made the mirror image in your beans or maybe your soil made it so. Your tomatoes look great and made me jealous because of the reddish and perfect skin of your tomatoes.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous melanie giant said...

I also have mirror images in my beans and I think it is really weird to have beans like that. What do you think are the reasons of having beans like these? Are they on the soil or on how you take care of it


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