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Saving Seeds from Runner Beans

Advice please …. I want to collect seeds from my runner beans and did it successfully last year. I was leaving them to turn brown etc but last night during heavy rain and gales my bean canes have almost collapsed and I think I need to take them down but most of the runner beans are still green! Can I pick them and leave them to dry out inside or do they need to do this naturally? Thank you.
South Devon 


  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,819
    As long as the seeds seem like they are a reasonable size i.e. runner bean seed size, I would take them down and hang them up somewhere dry and airy they should dry out as they would on the plant, that's what I will do next week with mine as they aren't going brown on the plant and who knows we could have a frost (highly unlikely looking at the forecast) but you never know.
  • CatDouchCatDouch Posts: 438
    Thanks @barry island I’ll get on with that this afternoon, thanks for the advice.
    South Devon 
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,501
    CDouch  If it's any help, I did mine a couple of weeks ago as I have in previous years.  As long as the pods are all 'knobbly' and will split open if squeezed at the non-stalk end, you should find that the seeds inside are fully developed, and can be harvested quite safely.  Mine are about to be put on the floor of the airing cupboard to thoroughly dry out, after which they'll be put into paper bags for next season.
  • I read the title and got an instant image of the poor seeds cowering in a corner, trying to escape the attention of those dastardly Runner Beans.
    Who wouldn't want to save them? :)
    I've got a couple of pods on my Cobras that have done almost nothing all summer. I figure the least they can do is give me some seed for next year!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,013
    To be honest I wouldn't be saving seeds from plants that haven't performed well ... perhaps that's my 'farming blood'  ;)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 23,090
    I’ve never saved seeds from runners,  rather eat them and pay the 99p for 50 seeds next Spring.
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • barry islandbarry island Posts: 1,819
    Sometimes they go over if you missed a couple of pods in a full bush why not sow them next year just sayin.
  • CatDouchCatDouch Posts: 438
    Yes @barry island I missed loads this year, there’s only 2 of us and I had far too many and didn’t get round to picking and freezing them 🙁
    South Devon 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Posts: 8,271
    I've got the same problem, @CDouch - only two of us to eat the beans, plus they grew so tall I'd only have been able to harvest the top ones using a stepladder...  I've been podding some like peas and cooking them in stews.  Very tasty.  I only need 8 or 9 plants so no point saving all the seeds to sow next year - I'll keep a dozen or so, I think.
    Since 2019 I've lived in east Clare, in the west of Ireland.
  • I’m saving a few seeds of my runner bean even though they weren’t as good a crop as my French beans. This next year the French beans are all going to be dwarf ones. Anyone got a recommended name for me. Valerie 
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