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Bean seeds germination failure

What am I doing wrong? Decided to grow climbing beans this year instead of runner beans. I have sown twice and both lots have just failed to germinate. I had them both in a propagator but nothing grew at all. I don’t usually have a problem with germination. Tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, aubergines etc all germinated OK. May have to go back to runner beans! 


  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,196
    We sowed pea beans last month in pots in doors. Germination was slow and not brilliant. Managed to get some seedlings transplanted out and they are slowly dying. Have started a new lot in pots in the polytunnel. Just think it is still too cold. Found last years label and had sown on May did it far too early this year.
    Having problems with sprouts, but swiss chard brilliant whilst beetroot is just thinking about whether to grow.
    And of course if they do get big enough to plant out then we don't have the rain as the jet stream has sent our Spring rain to France and Spain.
    The joys of gardening.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,944
    I sowed 6 seeds each of Dwarf bean Cobra, Purple climbing bean and Oregon Sugar Pod peas on 4th April in a heated propagator.
    5 of each germinated within the week  and grew well enough that they are now outside in a cold frame.

    I actually wanted 6 of each but despite trying, can't yet seem to get those last ones to germinate. Same rearing method but not much luck yet.  They can be awkward beggars that's for sure ;)
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,432
    I have grown cobra, climbing,and Annabelle dwarf the past few years. Normally sown in root trainers,or 3 inch pots, never had any problems with germination. I don't use heat.i don't sow till may though.
  • Janine11Janine11 Posts: 5
    It’s really frustrating. I never usually have a problem. I am now going to try lying the seeds on wet kitchen roll overnight and then sowing with a little bottom heat in damp seed compost and see whether they germinate. Admittedly I haven’t grown climbing flat beans before so may have to go back to good old runner beans which I have grown for years without any problem at all.
  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 2,944
    Must admit I don't grow/like Runner beans but been growing various dwarf french and climbing for years.  Rarely a problem - not sure whether it is the compost makeup recently or what.
  • Janine11Janine11 Posts: 5
    Obviously I will only use peat free compost and have used the same one for everything else - vegetables and flowers - without a problem. I’ll try adding some vermiculite into the seed compost and see if that works! 
  •  i always soak my bean and pea seed in plastic bag with wet paper towel before planting them in ground or in pots. 
  • KeenOnGreenKeenOnGreen Posts: 1,791
    I sow all of our beans and peas on a saucer of water.  I put a sheet of kitchen roll first, and put it on a north facing windowsill.  For larger beans, I cover them with a damp sheet of kitchen roll.  

    Germination rates are both fast and high.  I usually need to top the water up daily and to keep an eye out for mould. 

    As soon as I see shoot emerging from a bean, I put them in individual pots with seed compost.  
  • I normally have no problem growing beans and peas but this year both peas and sweetcorn have failed. I sowed a second batch of both and the sweetcorn has just started coming through but no peas. I am wondering if the pea seed is no longer viable.
    I never sow my runner beans until May.
    I sow my peas and beans in small pots of Muti purpose compost, keep them on a sunny window sill facing South until their first proper leaves break then move them into the conservatory, facing West, before planting out. Never failed before. The temperature difference between day and night lately could also possibly be a factor.
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,864
    @Janine11 , were both batches from the same packet of seed? It's possible that you've got a bad batch so it might be worth trying a new packet.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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