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I've tried several times this year & none of my climbing beans have germinated either in the greenhouse or outside. Or they're being eaten before   I notice them! 

I'm tempted to try germinating them the windowsill, from what I read I just damp kitchen tissue, wrap them in it & place in plastic bag on windowsill. 

Have others tried this, any tips? 


Have not done this for a while-but damp kitchen roll on the bottom of an old ice cream tub or something similar-lid on -somewhere warm-don't let the kitchen roll dry out-and check ever day- when you see a shoot emerging- time to pot on.


So the tub's to keep them dark as well as moist I guess. 




Yes-not sure the dark thing is vital but when you sow them in pots then they are in the dark?-it is more the damp and warm bit that is important.


I've twice planted 6 of each - climbing bean and dwarf french bean - in the propogator on the windowsill. Two of  each have germinated, but since I've planted them out they've been rubbish. Same with Sugar Snap peas. Too cold, too wet


Peat B

Dwarf beans........... sowed two rows of the little sods so far, and everything has been taken off as soon as they appear. Since then, the third row has appeared almost intact over a 5 metre row, and seems quite happy. I think this is an indication that the conditions have to be utterly right, emphatically so, withour deviation or room for discussion, bargaining, manouvre or negotiation. These little blighters NEED and DEMAND complete submission to conditions. We'll see how they get on as they grow, in these appalling conditions of high winds, torrential rain, clarty soil, and voracious meeces, slugs and snails.


I've been sowing them inside and planting them out when they get big enough but all of them have either been eaten by slugs/snails, dug up by my neigbour's car or had their leaves blown off in a gale force wind.  My latest lot are ready to go out but I can't bring myself to do it.

Peat B

I put an uloaded mouse trap along the row of beans as soon as they poked their heeds up, and it seems to have frightened the meeces off !  Threat of termination is as good as the real thing, it seems.


Sounds like everyone's having trouble with them this year then! 

I've put them in folded damp kitchen tissue in plastic bags on the kitchen windowsill. It only gets sun from late afternoon onwards so hopefully that's okay. They can't dry out too quickly in the plastic bags probably anyway.

I've put my second batch of sugar snap & mangetout there too, as they didn't germinate that well this year either. 

If I get results I will grow them on a bit in pots in the greenhouse before planting them out I think, just to help them stand a chance against the pests.

Fingers crossed for my beans & everyone elses! 

Peat B

Termination, Germination, it's all the same to me.   I have tried the peas in guttering, peas in kitchen tissue, pots  and sown direct. It all depends, said Pooh, on whether the ground weather and soil is in the mood. If it ain't in the right frame of mind for playing, then knowing when to go into action is up to yourself.  Monty Don has given me hopes only to be dashed. Joe Swift has made it look oh so easy and straightforward, and I have just been feeding slugs and mice & etc. i need to remember to leave sowing to the last or right moment, and sow and forget. As soon as I do this, they shoot up,       sometimes ! Be careful of the amounts of fertiliser, if you're into this thing. Overfeeding can be as much of a problem as pests !

Good luck, Lokelani.

like most people i too seem to have had trouble with french beans, also, spring onions, and had to have two sowings of courgettes and squash, peas are fine though, except birds have had a few tips off,  pak choi is doing very well, in greenhouse in old washing up bowls, with no drainage, don't ask me why, ??? also sewed some lettuce leaves the same and have a huge bowl of leaves now for luches this week, sweet peas also struggling, but be fair, if you were a little bean or seed put into the soil, and then it rained down on you ,you wouldn't survive either, haha

Peat B

Sayings of Haifiz,   regarding sowings........ It is when the hunter stops to roll a weed that the buffalo breaks cover,   or in another way, a watched kettle never boils,    or     a watched seed never germinates.


Well they did germinate in the tissues, it was really exciting!  I was staggered at the % that did. So they'd obviously been just hating the cold & wet soil.

I put them in pots shoots downwards & crossed my fingers. Most came up fine, minus a few. 

I kept them on an indoor windowsill for a few days as the greenhouse is often running with condensation on these damp days. Then they had to brave it. 

Saturday I put half of the runner & dwarf climbing beans out with great trepidation, as they'd shot up in height & am trying to keep slugs/snails off them each evening. They're still a bit nibbled come morning but so far sitll okay. I'm keeping the second batch in their pots on the outside table as back up, until they get too big.

The sugar snap peas are still in the greenhouse as they're still quite small. I just wish I'd planted more of these early on, as the ones planted before the bad weather are cropping fine still. 

So it was well worth it, both to test the seeds & just to get them going. 

muddy mare

soaking in water over night gets them going i did my mums like that and they romped away!my runners are useless scrawny yellow bottoms some are flowering some have beans on but they wouldnt feeed a sparrow!!!!!

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