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8 messages
28/09/2012 at 23:38

I've  grown a variety of beans and want to save some seeds to plant next year. Do I just wait for the plants to die off and the bean pods to dry on the plants?

29/09/2012 at 07:33
That's what I do, but have only done it with runners.
29/09/2012 at 08:59

I don't know if it makes a difference or not, but if saving runner bean seeds I do what the old chaps in the village used to do.  I identify several well-formed straight beans and tie a piece of coloured wool gently around the stalk of each one so I remember not to pick it, (and to make sure OH doesn't pick it either) and leave them to grow and ripen.

 Then when the season is over, before I take the plants down I find the marked pods.  

If they've dried well then the beans can be removed and put into a brown paper bag.  After a few days indoors on a sunny windowsill the bag goes into an airtight tin until the spring.  

If the bean pods haven't dried off properly I prefer to put the whole beanpods on the sunny windowsill until they're really dry.

29/09/2012 at 22:08

Thank's for your responses, makes sense to tie something round the pod stem and I hadn't realised you should leave the beans in the pod till the pods dry.

Whilst on the subject, is it ok to grow beans in the same spot next year. They were grown on arches over the garden path, I'd like to do the same next year as the arches can't be moved.

30/09/2012 at 06:00

Yes, it's fine to grow them in the same place each year.  If you add organic matter each year before your plant the soil will become more and more water retentive and you'll get better and better beans.

When the beans are finished cut them off at soil level and leave the roots behind to rot into the ground.  Received wisdom is that the nitrogen-fixing nodules on the bean roots improve the soil.  I know there is now some dispute about this, but gardeners have been doing it for aeons so it won't  do any harm to continue the practice and might still do some good. 

30/09/2012 at 17:15

Dovefromabove - I've just been reading about saving runner/french beans from the link you posted for 'real seeds', me thinks I might get some cross pollination. The mix of beans planted are all touching  and have different coloured pods - purple, yellow, green, and green/red pods. The runner beans were green podded.

If I manage to save some seeds it'll be interesting to see what grows next year. Will plant in the same spot and add a load of muck although if my soil retains anymore water the plants will go sailing out of the garden gate, the rain has been relentless this year but that explains now why the crop was so good

30/09/2012 at 21:40

How many people realise that runner beans are a perennial, and therefore the roots can be saved in a frost free place over winter, then planted out next May time?

30/09/2012 at 22:03
cowslip2 wrote (see)

How many people realise that runner beans are a perennial, and therefore the roots can be saved in a frost free place over winter, then planted out next May time?

You can but as they are easily raised from seed it seems a lot of hassle

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