Beans --- to soak, or not to soak?

macers(10/ sunset 20/21)April 19, 2014

Just finished tilling and amending my bean bed.

Do you soak your bean seeds before planting?

The package says to, but I read elsewhere maybe it isn't the best idea. Mine have been soaking since last night (oops) so I hope they are ok.

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I don't soak beans. Two years in a row when I soaked them they came up very deformed, and not all lived after that... From other point, when I do not soak, I have to double the seeds to make sure I have as many as I want. Not all come up a t all, but ones that come up - healthy and strong.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 7:50PM
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I have had so many problems with beans over the years that I have now gone to starting them in dividers and transplanting them. I think it is my soil as I didn't have problems in the previous 2 places I lived (been here for 21 years.) Too wet, compacted, too cold, root maggots, fungus rot, etc., etc.

I don't bother to do this indoors, just when it's warm enough on the deck. I do keep a clear plastic cover on until they are all up.

The dividers are 2" squares. Just about 2 weeks after planting, they lift right out and get planted about 3-4" deep. This also helps them stay upright through wind and rain. Plants are 12" apart with no skippers! They could go closer if the space is needed.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:32PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I've done it both ways, but it's the warmth of the soil that is the deciding factor.
Come April 15th (Last day of frost in our area), I get very antsy and want everything planted and growing AT ONCE! So I usually go through a few more seeds than I need to, replanting if something isn't popping up within a week! LOL
I don't have a soil thermometer, but I'm putting off planting my beans for a couple of weeks this year. I also have to build a new bean structure. Nancy

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 8:53PM
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sunnibel7 Md 7(7)

I read somewhere that the biggest danger of soaking seeds is them not getting enough oxygen, because we forget they are actually alive and we're kickstarting their metabolism. So for big seeds a big amount of water and frequent stirring are good. Or, I do like happens in my sprouter and cover them with water for several minutes then drain and leave in a bowl or pot with a lid, keeping them moist but exposed to air. The older the seed, the drier it tends to be, so I only soak older beans, like 2-3 year old seed, not ones purchased this year.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:35AM
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macers(10/ sunset 20/21)

Thanks everyone!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:36AM
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The problem with soaking is that soaked beans in cold soil will die. Soaked beans in warm soil will do well. Unless your soil is bone dry sand, it is always more prudent to plant them dry. That will give them a little more leeway about when to sprout.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:38AM
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Sometimes they split when you soak them. I suggest not to do it.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 1:55AM
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I always soak and always have beautiful beans. When I haven't they take much longer to germinate. THey are large seeds. But I don't actually "soak" I place in a plastic zip top bag between wet towels until I see sprouts..

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 2:02AM
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What Mindyw3 suggests seems like a good idea to me. I will try that next time I plant beans.


    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 12:45AM
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I just germinated a tray of various beans tonight. I set all if the beans out to soak this morning, so they soaked for about 12 hours. After I put them in the tray I set the tray on a seed heating mat. This is my first time trying this method. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2014 at 9:58AM
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