The Q&A Archives: Starting Pole Beans Indoors

Question: I ususally put my vegetable garden in the ground the first weekend in May here in MD. I've started all my seeds indoors and am having a great success. I've always heard to start seeds 8 weeks before you will actually transplant, so I did. My concern is my pole beans. I'm concerned that they are going to get too tall with pretty much a month to go before they will go outside. Can you plant them outside a little early or should I plan on starting some new seeds the first week of April? Thanks for any advice you can give.

Answer: Actually, different types of seeds should be started at different times, and some do best when sown directly into the garden, rather than starting them indoors.

Beans are best planted directly into the garden, once the weather has warmed up. As you've seen, they are fast growers. I'm afraid the ones you started indoors will be too large and unwield to plant outdoors. As far as I've seen, there's no benefit to planting certain types of seeds indoors, because the ones planted directly in the garden catch up and pass the weaker, indoor-grown ones.

Wait until after the last frost date to sow the beans. They are heat-lovers, and they don't do well in cold soil. Some other plants a that are best direct sown are peas, nasturtiums, carrots, corn, and sunflowers. Squash-family vegetables are also fast growers, and can be direct sown. Or you can start them indoors just 3 or 4 weeks before the last frost date.

Good luck!

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