Saving green bean seeds

Saving green bean seeds can be done.  Two falls ago, I saved some green bean seeds from a bush plant as well as a climbing pole variety.  The following spring, I planted the seeds and the plants came back.  They produced just like their parents from the year before.  Pretty cool eh?

It doesn't get much better than free seeds.  If you save your seeds year over year, you will not only save money but improve the experience of gardening.  I believe saving seeds enhances your connection with growing plants.

There is just something about harvesting produce from a plant then letting some of the best veggies go to seed for saving.  When that seed is planted the next year, the cycle continues.  For some reason, that is a really cool thing to me.

So how do you save green bean seeds?  That is very simple.  To save green bean seeds, you simply identify the best veggies on the best plants in your garden.  The best plant could mean many different things though.  You may want to save seeds from the tastiest producer or the biggest or the most compact plant.  Whatever floats your boat.

Once you have identified which plant you want to save seeds from, you simply let the green beans on that plant grow until winter.  I usually make one picking and then let the next wave of green beans go to seed.  You can push your luck and harvest more but do not push it too far.  If you get a frost before the bean has matured, it may be worthless.

Once winter comes, the beans should be pretty dry.  At this point, bring the bean pods inside and let them dry out even more.  Once they feel dry, crack open the pods and check out the beans.  The beans should look like the ones you planted in the beginning of the year. 

If they do not, your beans may not have matured enough during the growing season.  You can discard these or test your luck by planting them anyways.  It won't hurt anything to try right?  If they do look like the ones you planted, put the beans in a labeled plastic bag.  Put this bag in a cool dry place until you are ready to plant in the spring.

Pretty simple eh?

Some of the chosen beans....

After drying out inside for a few days.

Beans for seed.

There they are!

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