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Blue Lake Pencil Beans

SwedboySwedboy Posts: 341

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a pack of these beans at a seed swap. They were then planted and put on my radiator in the hope that they would germinate but as yet no luck. They have been in the pots about two weeks now. Is there a trick to them or are they very slow to germinate. The beans were really hard and white. Do they need a soak before planting or just time.



  • Tee GeeTee Gee Posts: 32
    They can two weeks or more to germinate subject to conditions, so be patient. Be careful with watering as this can cause them to rot. You got them at a swap shop was there a use by date on the packet? Older seeds can take longer to germinate and the% success rate can be relatively lower than that of fresh seeds. If they are not through in another week try teasing a seed out to see if they have rotted off.
  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 341
    They came in an envelope so no idea how old they are but I'll have a root around to see if they might have rotted tomorrow.
  • I have grown Blue Lake many times - and am going to have them again this year.  What I have found, however, is that the seed really doesn't keep well, whether it is saved from last year's plants or leftover seed in the packet.  I don't know why - but, a bit like parsnip seed, it is best to have fresh seed each year.

    If you got these at a plant seed swap, they were probably old/surplus seed.  I think I would buy some fresh and start again.  They ought to germinate within a few days, so I think yours are duds, I regret to say.

    For the record, I found that they are lovely and prolific French beans which have good taste and freeze well.

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 341
    They seemed to have all rotted so I have planted a new bunch.
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    Hold back for a while -I had the same problem last year-I started some in pots- some germinated -those that didn't rotted- resowed rotted again-then resorted to sowing direct into the soil at the beginning of June-no problems and beans a few weeks later

    My advice for what it is worth is to sow 2/3 per support outside around then-there is plenty of time- trust me-it is too early to start them off just now indoors anyway they like warmer temperature to flourish properly outside and that is weeks away

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 341

    Is it? The note from the donor said plant April. The second lot has now germinated so it is hopefully all go now. Might plant some direct in the ground too.

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    They will not like the low temperatures.

  • SwedboySwedboy Posts: 341
    You mean outdoors? Didn't mean to plant them now but later in the year.
  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    If you sow now they will be up and growing in a couple of weeks -just saying it is a bit early-up to you- but I will not be sowing until mid- May for planting out beginning of June-5/6 weeks away.

  • figratfigrat Posts: 1,619

    I planted out a dozen dwarf borlotti beans in the garden this afternoon. They've been in the cold frame with the lid open during the day for a couple of weeks now, so I thought I'd liberate them. They are under a cloche though.

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