Has-beans

Ordinarily I would always grow beans and other large seeds (peas, corn), by sowing direct into their final spot in the garden, the reason being that the large tap root that appears first will serve the plants better if it’s allowed to get itself straight down into the soil.

This doesn’t happen if seeds are first sown in a shallow punnet with a view to transplanting later. What I’m trying to say here is that I would never bother to actually buy a punnet of seedlings of beans, peas or corn or similar large-seeded plants, or sow them first in a container. I know you see these for sale and I know people buy them, it’s just that I wouldn’t, unless I could be sure of a large success rate. Even then, I figure they would take a long time to recover from transplanting shock.

There’s one way to find out, of course, and that’s to do it, so when I saw punnets of bean seedlings for sale at my local Sunday market, I bought a couple. The main reason was that they were a variety called Bonaparte which I’d never heard of, or seen in any seed catalogues. The old guy selling them knows his veggies though, and he said it was a good variety:

I’ve planted them in a wicking box and will see how they go. I only need enough to survive and set pods and I’ll have seed to direct sow for next year:

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7 Responses to “Has-beans”

  1. Jason Dingley Says:

    What about if you were planting into a heavily mulched bed? Would the seed push through?

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  2. foodnstuff Says:

    Hi Jason, it depends on how heavy the mulch is. I generally don’t mulch heavily until after the seeds have germinated. In fact if the weather is a bit cool, I don’t mulch at all initially, because the dark soil will absorb more heat and help with germination.

    It’s amazing how far seeds will push up. I had some pumpkins germinate recently from compost I’d put on the beds and because I didn’t want them there, I pulled them up. The stems were at least 10 cm long. The seeds were a long way down, but they still came up.

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  3. Gwen Says:

    I transplanted both peas and beans last year and they did really well. Doesn’t take them long to recover if you’re gentle with the root system.

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  4. Gwen Says:

    Just wanted to add that normally I wouldn’t transplant them either, but being in Christchurch last year, I needed to sow most of my plants indoors and transplant out as it took ages to warm up!

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  5. narf77 Says:

    I love the experimentation! I am more of a fan of dried beans rather than the green variety so when we get going I doubt that beans will be predominate on our menu BUT it is most interesting to read about growing them. Always options and I love the cyclic nature of saving seed and growing for the future…a bit like allowing the rooster to do his stuff. We have 17 new baby chicks (some of them roosters for the pot) that are boosting Serendipity Farms cycles for the future 🙂

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  6. MaidenFarmer Says:

    I have trays of seedlings sprouting in the kitchen hallway on reptile incubator mats – works a treat on the tile floor to reflect and store the heat (glass house still in box ) corn tomatoes beans broccoli pumpkin etc
    (PS Barbara looks terrific!)
    I grow them in peat pots to get a head start on the harsh climate here ( we actually had a meter of snow last Thursday sandwiched in between 24 degree days- how can young seedlings cope with that? So mid November is plant out time and its really hard to be patient and wait, as we will often get a very warm Indian summer mid sept /early october.
    I get impatient and caught out almost every year. went to visit the hardware store on a 22 degree Saturday morming and there they are! Pun nets of beans-diggers club painted ladies even- tall and lush so I relent (and part with $20)
    Annabelle Cow is so close to calving so she is in house yard as a trat to eat all the spring clover, but instead as i was not home she polished off a thousand trees waiting to go out around the cattle yard site yesterday while we were out – well severely pruned them all and knocked over all the trays scattering bits everywhere.(how did she open that gate???!!)
    And then cleaned up the tray of beans when I turned my back for two seconds after I shifted her out. Didn’t even hear her sneak up – very quiet for a 500 kilo heavily pregnant dexter.
    Lesson learnt.
    Sow seed indoors- sustsinable self harvested or bartered seed-plant out November- no shortcuts 😉

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    • foodnstuff Says:

      And I complain when the rabbits eat a few seedlings! A 500kg pregnant cow—that’s really something else!

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