Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Collecting green bean seeds

There are many reasons people garden. For those who grow vegetables, there is the satisfaction of growing your own wholesome and healthy vegetables. However, as many avid gardeners soon realize, buying seeds can put a big hole in your garden budget. 
Today's gardeners are often aware of the importance of growing organic produce and avoiding chemicals.  Organic seeds, unfortunately, are even more expensive than regular seeds. What many novice gardeners do not realize is that it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money on seeds. 

The seeds of most garden plants are easy to collect and save. Green bean seeds are no exception. In addition to saving money, collecting and saving your own bean seeds has the added satisfaction of knowing that you "own" the whole process in your garden and ensures that you know exactly what chemicals your vegetables are exposed or are not exposed to.
  1. As the growing season for your beans draws to a close, select some plants to stop harvesting. Allow the beans on these plants to mature and dry out.
  2. When the pods are completely dry (most varieties will appear tannish or brownish at this stage) and the seeds rattle inside the pod when shaken, pick the bean pods.
  3. Once you've collected all your pods, you can remove the seeds. A dry pod will split open when squeezed gently along the seam. Collect all the seeds and discard the empty pods.
  4. Lay the seeds out on a paper or towel or on several layers of newspaper and allow them to air out and dry for several days. It is important that the seeds are dry and clean when you store them. Dirty or damp seeds run the risk of rotting or growing mold. When the seeds are dry, sort through the seeds discarding any shriveled, broken, or discolored seeds.
  5. Pour the seeds into a clean dry container. Make sure the container is moisture proof. Paper and cloth are absorbent and could soak up enough water to cause the seeds to rot or grow mould.
  6. Make sure to label the container with the variety of seeds enclosed and include the month and year that you collected the seeds. Store the seeds in a cool dry location.

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