HOW TO SAVE BEAN SEEDS FROM YOUR GARDEN FOR REPLANTING
Bean seeds are one of the easiest vegetables to collect seeds from. In this video and blog post, I refer to green beans but the process is the same for pretty much all beans. When you harvest seeds from your own plants you can be sure that the seeds are fresh, what the variety is, and that they are organic!
LET THE PODS DRY
The first step is to allow your pods to dry out on the vine. I live to wait until the end of the growing season. I allow the beans to fully develop on the vine and then allow the vine and bean pods to dry back. Once the bean pods are fully dry I pick them from the vine. I also look around on the ground and pick up any that have fallen from the vine. I like to place them in a bag as I gather them instead of a basket because the pods are often fragile and some will open up as you pick them. This allows any loose seeds to fall into the bag.
OPEN THE PODS
Many of the pods will be slightly open and you’ll find that the seeds just fall out. Other pods will have to be opened. The bean pods that are not opened can be easily opened by bending the bean pod. As you open the pods you will notice are full and some only have a few seeds in them, this is normal.
SORT THE BEAN SEEDS
Once you have all of the beans out of the pods you will need to sort the good and viable seeds from the bad ones. You will want to discard any seeds that are broken, underdeveloped or look as if they have been eaten on by insects. Keeping the healthiest seeds to replant ensures that your future plants will have the best start. I like to compost the seeds that I am not going to use.
STORING THE BEAN SEEDS
Most seeds are viable for up to five years but I like to keep our rotated every season. Seeds need to be stored in a cool, dry, dark location. I usually use mason jars and seal the jar with my vacuum sealer but that isn’t necessary. The main thing is they stay in a cool and dry location, preferably out of the light. Be sure to label your seed container with the date and variety of seeds.