where do my beans go?

murkey(6)May 14, 2013

I am having the same problem I had last year. I sow my beans and they just disappear. When I sift my fingers through the soil, to see if maybe they are just late sprouters, there is nothing there. I see no bugs or signs of digging ( I suspected squirrels), and this year we built a bed cover out of chicken wire to keep out birds, but my seeds are gone just the same.Out of a 4' X 12' bed I have had 6 plants come up, and those look like little sticks, with no leaves. This year I even went so far as to sprinkle slug pellets on the soil, but that didn't help, either. I keep replanting, and it takes at least 4 tries to get a halfway decent stand of beans.Where do they go?

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The soil temperature needs to be at least 65F for common beans to sprout reliably. You can take a cheap meat thermometer and push it into your bean bed at 8 am to test the soil temperature.

Here in the Seattle area these temperatures may not be achieved until July. So to plant in late May or early June it is necessary to pre-sprout beans or start them in pots. I currently have 8 dozen peat pots with beans seeds under my grow lights. - Dick

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 8:41PM
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It's been a very weird, wet and cold spring here - I've got slugs and pill bugs decimating my beans. I'm shaking out the slug and pill bug organic pesticide in the bean beds. I have raised beds made of cinder blocks and other bricks with holes, so that gives the little monsters a place to hide. I finally have beans. The pole beans are finally starting to climb, but that's after a couple of reseedings...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2013 at 9:40AM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

Is it possible your seed is old? I ready recently that when just the stem comes up but no leaves develop it's a sign of old seed......

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 11:08PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Yes, beans need warmer soil/air to germinate and grow. But peas do ok. So where do youe beans go ? The answer could be they are there and cannot see them. OR, they are rotted.

By the way, I am in Seattle area and few of my hyacinth pole beans have germinated, after more than 3 weeks. The other day I planted some blue lake bush beand. Well, it might be a gamble on $1.10 of a package of seeds. This is my first year gardening here. So I will have to learn a lot from my mistakes = EXPERIENCE.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 6:48PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Mice will eat favas and peas (and I assume other beans) but I find they only eat them after they have begun to germinate. They eat the bean and toss the sprout aside. I get around it by laying small hole chicken wire very flat over the ground held down with stones so the mice cant get under it. Seems to work. This year I tried a new trick. I laid a lot of rosemary cuttings all along the pea row as soon as I sowed them This year none have been eaten, the pigeons haven't taken them and the pea and bean weevil hasn't notched the edges. Maybe coincidence but I am certainly going to do it again next year.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 2:29PM
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The low soil temperature may be the explanation as to why I have the same problem every year. After I replant the "skips" a few times, they seem germinate a lot better.
I guess I just get too impatient in the spring.
We usually buy our seed at a local garden store that sell them by the scoop. Next year I'll wait a little longer to plant them and won't waste as much.
Thanks for all the advice

    Bookmark   June 11, 2013 at 1:34PM
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