Starting White Beans?

mrmoiseyevMay 19, 2008

A friend gave me an envelope of dried white beans from Umbira, Italy. I don't know what kind they are, but I'm hoping to sprout them and see how they do in our mediterranean climate here in CA. I have never grown beans from seed before.

I have a bag of Miracle Gro vegetable soil and some plastic 6-pack containers from previous purchases at the nursery. I dont, however, have a seed tray to do the soaking method recommended here (although I could probably put it on a cookie sheet or something, I would think, if necessary).

Should I soak the beans or put them on wet paper towels to speed germination, or stick them dry into the soil?

How many beans should I plant per cell?

How often should I water them?

Should I put them into the sun?

Anything else I should know?

Thank you!

How long until they should germinate?

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Mr moiseyev

The six-packs are ok to use, but beans prefer slightly deeper containers. Nevertheless, I have used six-packs and they were ok. Just don't let the beans get too big before transplanting. One bean per cell. You can sow two and cull the weaker seedling.

Is direct sowing an option? At this time of year many gardeners sow directly, rather than in modules, but that is personal preference.

I would not soak beforehand and only water from the bottom. Let the six-pack soak up water from the base, making sure that it does not sit in standing water. If you must water from the top be especially careful. White-seeded beans are more prone to rotting than darker coloured ones, so the last point is important for white beans. Of course the compost must not dry out either.

Germinate in full light and sun.

How long? Most beans germinate between 3 days and 14 days. Older beans take longer, beans that have been kept on the dry side take a little longer to germinate too.

Plant out after the first set of true leaves has appeared and before the second set of true leaves.

Good luck with your first time seed starting.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 1:53PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I have always seeded beans directly into the ground. I cover them with about one inch of soil. The soil should be damp only, not wet. Presoaking beans is not recommended. They should have lots of direct sun.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2008 at 4:21PM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I think you are better off taking jimsters advice...they sprout so quickly anyway...they like heat and when your zone is warm, they will quickly catch up with anything you pre-sprouted or even grew out in a 6 pack.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 7:31AM
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You think he is better off taking jimsters advice? In what way? Did I not suggest first that many gardeners would sow directly?

However, there may well be very good reasons why mrmoiseyev intends starting the seeds under controlled conditions. If I only had a few seeds of a rare variety from Umbria without a chance of getting more, then I would most definitely grow them to small plants under controlled conditions. Seeds sown directly can rot in the soil, be eaten by mice, the first tiny sprouts are irresistible to slugs etc etc. With direct sowing you have to be prepared to take losses.

As I said, both methods work, it is a choice. I answered the question as it was put.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 5:52PM
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