The Q&A Archives: Bean Germination

Question: The problem I am having is about a month ago I planted a row of string beans and lima beans and only about 15 plants came up. So I planted a other row of each about 8 days ago. What do think happened the first time? Should I do something different this time?

Answer: Beans in general grow best in a warmer soil, and will rot if the soil is too cold and wet as can sometimes be the case in very early spring. They should germinate fairly quickly from this second sowing. If not, you may have any one of a number of factors at work. One is birds stealing the seeds, more common and harder to observe than you might think. Another is bunnies or birds nipping off the seedlings just as they emerge. A third is that an inoculant labeeld for beans could be helpful in increasing germination if you have never grown them in that spot before. Yet another possibility is that they must not be allowed to dry out once they have begun to swell -- if they dry out before germinating fully they will die. Good luck with your beans!

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