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Where have all my beans gone!.

Thought I'd try saving french/runner bean seeds for next year, how difficult can it be? Gardeners have been saving seeds aince Adam was a ladimage, so left some on the plants to dry. It's been so wet though some are going moldy on the plant so I've picked them all and put them in the GH to dry.image 

Some pods although fairly large didn't appear to have any beans in them and so I' had a sneaky look and they don't have any beans in image and in others the beans are ever so tiny, is there anything I'm doing wrong or is it case of being patient, and, wait and see? .


  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    I bought a couple of dry pods in a few days ago -just had a look -5 usable beans and one titchy one

    There are still a few on the plants but whether they will come to anything before the frosts gets them is in the lap of the gods

    So Zoomer -I don't think you have done anything wrong-I am blaming the weather -but I blame that for everythingimage

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Thanks, Geoff for the reasurance. 

    I've just bought some new varieties for next year, the type which can be dried for eating but wanted to sow some of this years varieties next year too and didn't want to purchase them. Saving seeds is something of a learning curve, I was hoping for lots of seeds to swap but if there's a dozen seeds from each plant, I'll be happy.

    Know what you mean about the weather, beans have done really well here though and as they grow up rather than taking up ground space are ideal for a small garden veg grower.

  • I regularly save (White Lady) runner bean seed every year by designating just one plant in the row, usually end of row, to be my seed providor. I don't pick any beans on this plant though  the growing season, just let them all mature. At the end of the season as the pods start to dry off naturally. I pick all the pods and find I have ample seed for next year, albeit redirecting any smaller ones to the kitchen for consumption.

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Terence - I only grow a couple of plants for each variety and grew five varieties this year, so leaving a whole plant isn't really practical although I can see the sense in doing so.

    There maybe some cross pollination too with the seeds I do get as they were grown next to each other and had different coloured pods.

    I checked some more pods this evening and some of the seeds are going mouldy, any suggestions.  

  • In this case I would just open the pods you have picked and lay the beans out on  a flat or mesh surface to dry out, discarding any that are mouldy

    Next season you could try leaving one of the early pods to mature on the plant during the summer. As a plant ceases flowering once it has completed it's cycle of flowering and producing mature seed, keep regularly picking the rest of the beans while they are young to keep the plant producing.

    good luck.



  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Thanks for the advice. I've started to open the pods.

    There were no sizable beans in the yellow podded one's and none in the cream/red pods but it's looking better than I thought for the other varieties, over 50 seeds from the purple podded one's and 12 large white/purple seeds from painted lady image although there are lots of  tiny green seeds which presumably are no good and 4 seeds from the green podded one's.

    I'm pleased with the result, would have been really disappointed if there'd been no seeds. I'll do as you advice for next year.

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