Thought I'd start a little blog on growing and seed saving beans. Perhaps others might like to try these things and save seeds from their favourite beans. To start with, this is how I make a tripod out of bamboo. Its quite easy to do, its portable, you can pack it up when the seasons over and use it following year.

Plant 4 or so beans around each bamboo pole.

Seedsaving

If you plant more than one runner bean they will cross easily, pole or climber beans won't cross. So with seedsaving beans, harvest them when the pods have dried out in fine weather. If you don't dry your beans properly they will turn moldy. Select the best looking specimens to save seed from and eat the rest. Take them inside and lay them in an airy place to further dry out. After a few days shell the beans and leave on a tray or plate for a day or two. Then put them into the freezer flat on a plate for a few days to kill off any bugs. If you've ever had holes in your seed from bean weeviles this is a good way to kill them without using chemicals. Take them out of the freezer and leave them in a warm spot to dry out. Store in paper bags, dated and named.

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Comment by June Skelly on March 21, 2012 at 9:33pm

Last year I left my scarlet runner beans in the ground. This year I was away during planting season and was delighted when I came home to find last years beans growing. I have had more beans this year than ever and am still picking, I feel so grateful. Have got some late butter beans growing so will have them when the runners have finished, what a money saver!

Comment by Kali on March 21, 2012 at 9:04pm

I love saving beans seeds . the trick is getting a good drying wind at the right time, ( bit hit and miss in our climate here on the SI west coast). Absolutely wait until the pods are stiff and brittle and the beans inside are hard when you press them before picking or the seeds will shrivel somewhat. I have had pole beans that crossed when growing up the same poles so best to separate them by a few metres at least if you have a variety that you particularly want to stay pure. I have to watch out for snails that climb the poles and hang out up there munching and also green vege bugs can damage the pods at this time of year.

Comment by josephal on March 21, 2012 at 2:28pm

Thanks Gillian, on my first attempt at seedsaving I failed with both weevles and mould so hopefully these tips will help someone get into seedsaving without any disappointments!

Comment by Gillian Oakbrook on March 21, 2012 at 2:18pm

Thanks for the tripod demo - saving seeds, especially beans, is so easy if you make sure they are really dry, and you wind up with the best seeds for your garden - those naturally acclimated to it!

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