Emerite Beans Didn't Germinate

aubadeMay 26, 2010

I planted about 20 seeds on May 15th. In less than a week, 3 sprouted, and today they're still growing fine. No others germinated though.

They were old seeds from spring 2009, so maybe that was the problem. Last year they grew well and were so delicious, so I'm bummed!

I have another variety of pole beans (I forget which) that I bought last summer, but never ended up planting. Should I give up on the Emerite and plant again? Or is it possible they'll still germinate?

I think if I do try planting again, I'll use the baggie method to make sure they germinate since they're a year old too...

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It's hard to say. It's still possible, though not probable, that some of the Emerite seeds might sprout. 2009 seed is not really old. I consider my bean seed to be old when it goes past four years. Up till then, it generally germinates fine. Still, there are factors which can shorten the life of a given seed. The two most common are: exposure to heat and
exposure to humidity.

Here's a tip: one which I've learned, yet still sometimes forget to follow. When carrying seed into the garden, to plant, don't leave it set in a jar or plastic bag, in the sun. It can cook in short order, greatly reducing its viability.

Hope you get a good stand of beans soon!

Tahlequah, OK (but originally from NJ)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:52PM
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Thanks. You know, I did leave them in the sun for a few hours. Maybe that was the problem...

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 1:56PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hi aubade,

The environment could be the problem as well. Beans don't like wet and/or cold when germinating. It hasn't been too terribly cold lately, but we have gotten quite a bit of rain here on the east coast since mid-May. I'd dig a few seeds up and see if they've rotted.

Not to worry though. You've got time to replant.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 2:37PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Ditto on George's comments. 2009 bean seed should still be good, and "Emerite" has good cool-soil germination. If the soil has been cool or wet, it may have delayed germination... so I would give them a few more days yet before writing them off.

As previously mentioned, exposure to heat, sunlight, or humidity can destroy seeds very quickly. When planting, I take out only as much seed of a given variety as I intend to plant, and keep it cool & dark in a small plastic cooler until I'm ready to use it.

Even so, it was very muggy here yesterday, and my seeds are kept in an air conditioned room. As soon as I exposed the seeds I was planting (soybeans) to the air, they became shiny with condensation. Had I not planted them, the seed would likely have died very quickly.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 8:20AM
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I bet it was because I left them in the sun too long. Also, I think I may have watered them too much. I thought the soil had to stay moist like when planting other seeds, I didn't realize beans don't like it. Also after I watered them in (too) thoroughly, it was rainy for a few days so that probably did them in. Well, it is only my 2nd time growing green beans, so, live and learn I guess!

The other seeds I have are Blue Lake pole beans. Hopefully they're as tasty as the Emerite.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 12:46PM
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Here in Oklahoma both our temps and humidity fluctuate more than out East. Still, with most large seeds, such as corn, beans, squash, etc., I prefer to plant and NOT water. They seem to prepare for germination and sprout just when we have a nice rain, and conditions are optimal. But when I water those seeds, it seems they areobligated to germinate... And often into unfavorable conditions.

You might still try digging a few up to see. Ten days is not so long that they might not, yet, germinate, especially if conditions have been cool.


    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 1:41PM
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