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Collecting Green Beans for next year

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:51 am
by Yogas
I got my second batch of green beans today and since I've never grown them before and I don't know how many more I'll get (it's a bush type plant), I wondered if I should save some to plant next year. Since I'm asking, how many harvests can you get from bush beans versus pole beans?

Do I just let the bean dry out and then collect the insides?

Thanks in advance - they were so good!

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:44 pm
by Urban_Garden
To save bean seeds is pretty simple (especially compared to saving seeds of other plants). :D

All you have to do is pick your best performing bean plant and let it go to seed. To do this just let one of the beans stay on the vine until it is dry and shriveled. A good indicator is if you shake the pod you can hear the beans inside, then you know they are ready.

Pick them and take the seeds out, then lay them on a paper towel and put them in a dry cool place for a couple of weeks. After that, label and store in a dry cool area for next year. :)

Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:12 pm
by Gary350
My 3rd bean crop is always very small I often let 1 row go to seed. It takes about a month for the beans to dry out then I pick them. Put the beans in a burlap bag or pillow slip and beat it against a tree to break up the hulls. On a windy day pour them out the bag onto a large blanket the wind will blow away all the light weight bean hulls and the beans fall on the blanket. Put your beans in a paper bag.

That is the way we did it growing up on the farm 55 years ago.

Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:34 pm
by CharlieBear
It depends a little on the weather and how much you water them. I have had some plants bear well right into fall and other cave in after a couple of weeks. Best rule of thumb if well watered and picked very regularly about 6-8 weeks, maybe more. If the beans you planted are a hybrid type bean seed if you save it the beans next year may not be anything like this years. Old time varieties can be saved and used over and over, but generally not the newer hybrid seed. Note, I police my beans nearly everyday for canning purposes. I put them in the crisper until I have a canner full, which at the beginning can be 5-6 days, at the height maybe only one, but I plant a lot of bush beans.