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collecting runner bean seeds

This year I want to collect my runner bean seeds. Should I pick them while the bean pods are still green or wait until they go brown. Will it matter if it is frosty before they go brown.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,678
    They have to go brown before you pick them off. If they get frosted they will be no good. If you stop picking green beans now, let them get hard and woody, and they then go brown.  If we don't have a frost for the next month you will get a load of usable seeds. depod them, let them dry inside for a few more days then store in a paper bag or envelope (not plastic, they go mouldy). Some years you will get so many that they last you for several years, stored in a dry cool place. Other years you get an early frost and get nothing. Green seeds are not ripe enough and will not grow.
  • Unhappily, I live in central Scotland, so I don't expect to survive October without a frost (we had a mild one a week ago, which killed the tops of the dahlias), so my question remains, do I pick the beans now, even though still green? Fidgetbones is saying that if I do pick them now they won't germinate when I sow them next year. That will be a pity because the yield this year has been excellent - a continuous supply every day since mid July. I don't object to buying new seeds, but I had hoped I wouldn't need to. I think I'll leave them and just hope that there's no more frost for a few more weeks.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,364
    No problems, Bob.  Pick them now, the knobblier the better, string them up in a dry place by threading them on to a piece of stiff wire or garden string.  It won't be VITAL when you take them out of the pods but, once you've done that, put the seeds on a metal or plastic tray.  Lay it on the floor of the airing cupboard until spring to keep dry - at which point you'll say 'where the ***** did I put my bean seeds?'
  • LynLyn Posts: 21,892
    I just don’t bother, for 99p I can buy 40 seeds that I know will be what I want, I’m not sure you can guarantee your saved beans to be the  same as you grew,   Could be wrong there though? 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,673
    Runner beans will do fine if you pick them when they start to turn leathery, I also don't get a long enough season for them to dry on the bush, but they germinate and grow just fine when I pick the leathery pods. I then shell them and dry the beans, if I try to dry the whole pod I find they go mouldy.
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