Beans - Knowledgebase Question

Billerica, MA
Question by nsc24
April 10, 1999
I have had very low yields the last 2 years from Blue Lake and Tenderpod beans. I plant the first week of June and in a twenty foot row I might get only 20-30 seedlings. I then have to replant. This year I have ordered Kentucky and Goldmine. Should I soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting or is there some other trick? I need better results.


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Answer from NGA
April 10, 1999

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Bean seeds should not be soaked prior to planting, but that doesn't address the problem you're having. Just for general information, bean seeds have about a 70 percent germination rate. Seeds should be planted about 1" deep in heavy clay soils and 1 1/2" deep in light soil, and they should not be planted where beans grew before. The seeds sprout best when the soil is about 60F and the seedlings grow best when the air temperature is 70F - 80F. If the soil and air temperatures are cooler than this, or if you've been planting your seeds too deeply, it might account for the poor germination you've experienced. Try waiting for things to warm up in your garden, and hedge your bet by planting 2-3 seeds together, thinning to the strongest seedling. Following the above guidelines should increase your crop of beans.

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