Posted: 16/08/2013 at 22:53
Hi Alan. Me thinks it was the real seed company where I got the idea to save seeds.
It's fairly easy to save peas/beans and if you aren't successful the first year you'll realise why and manage it the 2nd if you follow the real seed guide.
Pea/beans are slightly different but basically - plants have a life span and die back when the temps drop. If you continue picking every pod from one plant then none grow big enough to produce seeds to save before the plant dies, despite drying out the seeds inside are small and either won't germinate the following year or produce a poor crop.
If you have a big plot and want to save seeds from this years plants you need to stop picking the bean or pea plant which you plan to save seeds off. This allows pods to grow to their full size before the plant dies. The pods dry out on the plant and will then be ready to save for seeds next year. If you have an allotment you could leave one plant at the end of the row and just never pick it but use as a seed plant.
If you get that part right and you'll know when your seeds have dried because they'll be a similar size to bought seeds, you are onto a winner
Peas/bean seeds save well and last several years, I grow in the back garden so don't allow a whole plant to go to seed. Last year I left some pods unpicked but not the whole plant and saved enough seeds for a couple of years.
Hope this is helpful. Happy gardening