Author Topic: Bean germination  (Read 289 times)

Peanuts

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Bean germination
« on: May 15, 2019, 06:11:06 »
I always sow all climbing and French beans  directly in the ground and that works well here.  I grow a selection of different beans -  Borlotti, Kew Blue, a  haricot  for drying, a standard dwarf French bean, a wonderful North Carolina one from Galina, and an English runner bean.  All are from my own saved seed, except the runner beans which I buy each year in the UK, one of the widely available ones, from Wilko or whatever.  This year I happened to buy Enorma from Sutton. 
i sowed them at the same time, in the same quarter of the veg patch.
All beans have had 99% germination, with the exception of the bought ones, of which only two germinated. :sad10:
I notice that the seed, bought in February, is from  2017, sow by 2020.  Not too impressive. 

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Bean germination
« on: May 15, 2019, 06:11:06 »

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2019, 20:37:43 »

 I suspect that the difference is simply the age of the seed, and its storage conditions. Your home saved seed is likely last seasons, lightly dried and very viable. A bought seed , 'packet-ed 2017' could easily be 2015 season harvested, if not older. it may have been deep dried, stored and planted at low water content and has simply rotted while waiting for its starchy matter to re-hydrate and perform natures magic.
From my own previous commercial experience, at the end of the seed season, (July) seed retailers may return unsold packets* to source, for credit to their account against the "new seasons collections" which emerge around November for display in the New Year. It is my belief that these "old" seeds are blended with 'newer' seeds and repackaged, to meet a prescribed germination level. That level is typically around 85%, it used to be defined as a chart by variety within the Seeds Act 1920.
Subsequent storage within retail premises, possibly below optimum -while Christmas tat is sold, may influence its performance.
* some sellers select 'outright sale terms', to gain a higher margin:these are the stores which 'crash out' unsold packets rather than return them. As OP states, the packer has allowed for a sell by date of around 2 1/2 years from packing- three seasons!
Fresh is best.
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Peanuts

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 04:54:38 »
That's interesting, Ancellsfarmer.  Makes me think of the scandal around poultry meat, and the way it was found in some establishments to be re-labelled with a different date!  Certainly when I investigated the sown seed a couple of weeks afterwards, virtually all had completely disappeared. Buying another packet this weekend while in UK.  But I'll look  more closely at the date on the packet. 

Paulh

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2019, 07:50:55 »
Ancellsfarmer: "it may have been deep dried, stored and planted at low water content and has simply rotted while waiting for its starchy matter to re-hydrate and perform natures magic."

That's interesting - when that happens to seeds I've sown, I've put it down to my tendency to over-water things (unless I let them dry out, that is).

Would it be worth soaking beans in water for 6 / 12 / 24 hours before sowing in damp compost?

Obelixx

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2019, 09:24:58 »
Maybe.  People do it with sweet pea seeds don't they?

I've given up growing beans myself.  They need far more water then they get from rainfall here and water butt content is better used on more valuable crops.  Beans are cheap to buy dried, frozen or tinned - depending on variety - for culinary use and I really don't like runners.  Butter beans are the only kind I find hard to source or expensive in tins - the French can be chauvinistic about their varieties - but I can't see me growing those either.
Obxx - Vendée France

ancellsfarmer

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2019, 19:56:39 »
Maybe.  People do it with sweet pea seeds don't they?

I've given up growing beans myself.  They need far more water then they get from rainfall here and water butt content is better used on more valuable crops.  Beans are cheap to buy dried, frozen or tinned - depending on variety - for culinary use and I really don't like runners.  Butter beans are the only kind I find hard to source or expensive in tins - the French can be chauvinistic about their varieties - but I can't see me growing those either.
How might these suit? Probably grow as well!
https://www.maison-alex.com/produit/haricots/118/haricots-geants-en-800g-ctn-de-15?tri=1
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ancellsfarmer

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2019, 20:13:26 »


Would it be worth soaking beans in water for 6 / 12 / 24 hours before sowing in damp compost?
Yes, it may help.Test a sample in a jam jar, lined with corrugated cardboard.Seeds (6) trapped between glass sides and card.Add just sufficient water so that the card can act as a  wick . Optimum constant temperature between 18-30 deg C.
Sample up to standard of Seeds Act if you get 5 from 6. Plant before radical is same length as bean.
Best in compost with sharp sand or grit.Constantly humid but not wet. Fresh seed!
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Obelixx

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2019, 21:37:49 »
Thanks AF.  I'll bear those in mind but at the mo we have no spare space.  Need to st OH to building some new beds - to my specifications this time, not his - more supports for the planks, taller support posts to which I can attach netting bars and corner posts to stop the hosepipe flattening treasures.....   
Obxx - Vendée France

Vinlander

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 09:49:11 »
All beans have had 99% germination, with the exception of the bought ones, of which only two germinated. :sad10:
I notice that the seed, bought in February, is from  2017, sow by 2020.  Not too impressive. 

I have noticed this with broad beans - going back many years.

I came up with this explanation:

At the time the best way to make sure all your own bean seeds were without holes was to wait until the the holes appeared and only keep the perfect ones (I kept mine in a tough sealed bag so ended up with hundreds of dead insects inside). I would sow the holey ones first - the weevils had already left and the holes only damaged germination when they actually pierced the tiny dried embryo.

Obviously seedsmen can't sell holey beans - at best they look extremely substandard, at worst they might be accused of passing on bean/pea weevil (unlikely as above). They might even store them for longer?

So seedsmen had to either throw the holey ones away, (unlikely), or sell them as animal feed or - heavily discounted - as low grade seed to the professional market.

Recently the technique of briefly freezing well-dried seed has emerged and seems 100% effective.

It seems the seedsmen have not been taking advantage of this - presumably they need to spend almost as much time removing other kinds of dross anyway - or they are just slaves of habit. 

You have to realise they must be sowing a lot more than they need in case of a crop failure - surely more than 300%? So they must have customers already set up for the excess and the damaged stuff.

Only pressure from threads like this will make them change - the gardening press obviously aren't doing their job here (as usual).

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

George the Pigman

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 19:22:13 »
I grow them in root trainers then transplant them out. Usually this works fine although they sulk a bit when transplanted and don't grow much for a bit. This year, for the first time ever, I had a near total failure of five varieties of climbing beans. I started them in the greenhouse but the loopy weather in April varied form extreme heat to extreme cold. On looking at the seeds they had nearly all rotted- although I do admit to being one of the overwatering brigade!

Tee Gee

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Re: Bean germination
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 19:57:46 »
Quote
extreme heat to extreme cold

Been there done that .......I too have cooked them.

I find that if I start them off on the hot bed and this coupled with the loopy weather as you put it I honestly think ....they cook!

Plus. I think it is even worse now due to the new peat free/ reduced composts on the market....I find that these omposts don't drain as well meaning the compost remains saturated which when the temperatures rise they do as I said.....cook!