Days for dried seed

deanriowa(4b)June 3, 2008

How many days on average does it take to harvest dried beans from pole beans for planting next year?

I was planning on saving seed from the following:


Blue Coco

Hidatsa Shield Figure

Scarlet Runner

Insuk's Wang Kong Runner

Asparagus Bean yardlong

My problem is its June 3rd and I still do not have any beans in the ground yet, as it has been raining for 3 weeks. I am hoping next week it dries out and I can plant.

Anyone else not have their beans in the ground yet?



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I have about half of mine out. Here in Oklahoma, we have the problem of a sizzling dry spell in mid July until the end of August. But I can plant some beans in April or May and harvest seed in time to grow a second crop before frost. You should be alright Dean.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 11:18AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Dean, the dry seed DTM for pole beans varies considerably, depending upon the variety. Most of mine mature somewhere between 90-110 days after planting, but some will go 120+. The average seems to be about 100-110 days, which can be a challenge in our climate during bad years - such as this one, where they will get planted late. The long-term forecast continues to show rain every 2-3 days.

Last year, an early frost nearly ended my garden in mid-September. Had it been strong enough to kill the beans, my seed crop would have been a nearly total loss. Fortunately, most lost some foliage, but then ripened pods at a furious pace, and the year turned out to be highly productive. For me, the last weeks before frost are the most productive for saving bean seed.

As I do most years, rare or long-season beans intended for seed have already been started in peat pots. The meter keeps running, so to speak... when the transplants finally get in the ground, very little time will have been lost. Trouble is, many of them are germinating now, and it is too cool outside today to put them in the solar greenhouse. Fortunately, it's supposed to warm up in a couple days.

Yesterday, I checked my soil conditions, and found that I had a brief window of opportunity for tilling. So with more rain approaching, I was out preparing the remainder of my garden. The tiller & I put up with a few sprinkles, but my whole garden is now ready for planting... if it ever gets dry!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2008 at 6:34PM
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We got another 1 1/2" of rain last night and it looks like another straight week of rain for the coming week.

I stepped into the garden yesterday and I sank up to my ankles.

I may not be able to save seed this year.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 10:31AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Same forecast here, Dean; although judging by the radar the past several days, you are catching it far worse than I am. If there is a silver lining, it is that the temperature is rising, so I am finally able to get my plants outside into the... sunlight???

All is not yet lost... I actually prepare for this eventuality each year, buying Jiffy strips & soil less starter mix in bulk. If I recall, there was a similar wet Spring several years back, and only 30 flats of transplants saved my garden that year. What doesn't get used this year, will keep until next.

For the next week, I will continue to plant more of the beans in peat pots, that I should be planting in the garden. That's a lot of beans... I have already started all limas, long-season beans, and some soybeans, but there are still about 30 varieties left to do. So far this year, I'm doing all my gardening indoors. ;-)

As soon as the seeds germinate, I put them outside, so there is no need to harden them off. The trays are lined up on the bed of a trailer, out of reach of hungry mouths. When - if? - it gets dry, I'll have a lot of transplants ready. Provided I can get them in by June 15th, they should all mature at least close to their normal time.

As a rule, beans possess less genetic diversity than out-crossing vegetables, so you don't need many plants to save seed. You can safely save seed from even one plant, which I have been forced to do on several occasions. I start all my limas & yardlongs as transplants, but for the remaining beans & soybeans, I will start 10 of each variety in pots, and the rest direct-seeded when possible.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2008 at 4:56PM
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Thanks for the reassurance and idea of starting my seeds in the house. Looks like I will be starting some seeds this evening, as another full week of rain is coming.



    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 12:11PM
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