Lofthouse Landrace Tepary Beans
Origin: Paradise, Utah
Improvement status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~25
Germination tested 12/2019: 85%
Life cycle: Annual
Joseph Lofthouse is a genius plant breeder based in Paradise, Utah, and we are very excited to be offering things grown and bred by him. He calls himself a "landrace seedsman", and his focus as a seed grower is on incredibly diverse populations of staple crops suitable for his very short season. Joseph has created some amazing landraces and we're honored to be selling some of them, including this exciting tepary bean landrace. Tepary beans are a traditional Native American crop from the US Southwest and Mesoamerica well-known for their drought resistance: come have been known to grow to maturity with just a single irrigation at planting. This population is ripe for future breeding.
From Joseph: "Short season, landrace tepary beans. About half of this seed is recently descended from hybrids (F2, F3, F4), therefore the genetics are still rearranging themselves and making all kinds of amazing new varieties. I have selected for pods that do not shatter in the field, but that shatter easily after harvest. To harvest I recommend pulling the plant whole and hitting it against the inside of a garbage can. Avoid picking individual pods due to shattering. I also harvest by cutting the vine off just above ground level, finish drying on a tarp, and then beating or stomping the vines to release the seed."
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed after danger of last frost. Plants could be 3-8 inches apart in rows 6-16 inches apart.
NOTE: Bean Common Mosaic Virus (BCMV) is a plant disease that can affect all New World beans (Phaseolus spp.), including common beans, tepary beans, lima beans, and scarlet runner beans. It is not harmful to humans or other animals, but can cause decreased yield or death in susceptible beans. Tepary beans may be “carriers” of BCMV, as they can often tolerate the disease with only minor symptoms (especially when grown in arid regions). Because teparies may carry BCMV, do not recommend growing teparies near other species of beans that are more susceptible to the virus — especially those to be saved for seed. Signs of the virus include stunted plants, downward curling and puckering of leaves, and yellow-green mottling of leaves. BCMV is a seed-borne disease, and seeds saved from infected plants can pass the virus on to future crops. Healthy plants can be infected by aphids spreading the virus from diseased to healthy plants, by infected leaves touching healthy ones, or by gardeners handling healthy plants after working with diseased plants. Diseased plants should be carefully rogued out (removed) and discarded. [Thank you to Jared Zystro of the Organic Seed Alliance for pointing this out to us, and to Native Seeds/SEARCH for the language used in this note.]