Seed Saving: Pole Beans

Admire their color and get excited for growing or sharing them next year!

Admire their color and get excited for growing or sharing them next year!

If you're like me, you may have let some things... ummm... go in your garden unintentionally this summer. 

Like forgetting to harvest your beans or accidentally letting something bolt (like my broccoli loved to do, over and over again). 

But out of unintentional accidents can come new learning opportunities, like practicing your hand at seed saving.

While my previous post on the topic didn't quite focus on saving seed, this post will get more to the heart of it (I hope) and from there, we can learn this stuff together.

Beautiful seed pods ready for saving.

Beautiful seed pods ready for saving.

Here's how to save pole beans:

  1. Pick dried beans from the vine. They will be a yellowish color and be somewhat crunchy to the touch. Open up a few to see what the seeds look like, if they are at all squishy, they still contain moisture so leave them behind. Mine were deep purple and hard to the touch.
  2. Once you've collected your beans, open them up.
  3. Push seeds out with your finger.
  4. Store in air-tight container and LABEL what these seeds are, where you got them, when you saved them, how the plant did that year and anything else that will be helpful in identifying these babies come next spring.

That's basically it. It's that easy.

I picked some beans that were partially green so I could see the difference in color... unfortunately I forgot about that and left them in a bag with some perfectly dried beans. This resulted in semi-squishy beans all around. Learn from my mistakes, don't store moist seeds with your dry ones. 

Other than that... happy seed saving!