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Kentucky Wonder beans -- saving seed on the vine overwinter??

Posted by PurpleVermont 5 (My Page) on
Tue, May 3, 11 at 17:21

I planted some Kentucky Wonder beans last year, and we didn't end up harvesting them all. My trellis now contains a few plants with a handful of dried out beans left on them. (As suggested by my username, they overwintered in Vermont.) The seeds look to be in good condition. I planted other pole beans nearby, and I'm not sure if beans cross-polinate if other varieties are nearby. Are the harvested dried beans likely to grow (a) at all, and (b) true to type, or should I just buy some new seeds?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Kentucky Wonder beans -- saving seed on the vine overwinter??

They should grow pretty well if they were fully mature, and dried completely without molding. I think there are few (if any) hybrid beans available.

I tried to save some Fortex beans I did not get harvested that matured. I tried to dry them further before shelling, but they got moldy and I discarded them.

Last year I left another bunch on the vine all winter because the first killing frost was followed immediately by "too cold to work outside". When it finally got warm enough this spring to tear down last year's garden, I shelled these beans.

Some looked mature (same size and color as the ones in the package I planted from), but many more were immature, smaller and lighter colored than the original seed. I will plant some of the apparently mature seeds this year, along with some packaged seed, and compare the result.

RE: Kentucky Wonder beans -- saving seed on the vine overwinter??

I have tried the same procedure with two types of beans with opposite results. The Romano beans came through the winter quite well and I was able to re-plant them. But this year I tried it with Kentucky Wonder and there was no germination. Place about ten of them between damp paper towels and keep in a warm place for a few days and see what kind of germination you get. Then you'll know for sure.

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