You Can’t Pick Your Bean And Save It Too

You would think beans and peas would be a natural fit for #seedsavingformarketgrowers

They are selfers and don’t cross much. They are pretty much all open pollinated, so you can easily save solid market varieties. And they are fun to shell!!!

But, if you’re a market gardener, I don’t think beans and peas should be high on your list of obvious crops to save seed from.

Because as they say: You can’t pick your bean and save it too.

Like tomatoes, the vegetable part of beans/peas (those delicious tender pods) is where the seeds are.

But unlike tomatoes, there isn’t much seed in a bean/pea pod and market gardeners who grow beans/peas use a lot of seeds.

So you’ve got to hold back a lot of beans/peas to get enough seed. If you keep picking those plants you just won’t get the seeds. Not to mention, if you’re in a wet climate, every picking spreads that mild mould to new plants.

So, bean/pea seed is not a natural fit for your market garden.

If you really want to save your own bean or peas seeds for your market garden, I’d recommend planting a dedicated area specifically for seeds saving. Put a banner over the patch that says DO NOT PICK THESE and keep them on the plant until the pods dry down.

A 100ft bed with 2 rows of bush beans/peas or 1 row of pole beans/peas will produce 15 to 20lbs of seed. The seed should be good for a couple of years.


One thought on “You Can’t Pick Your Bean And Save It Too

  1. You make some good points. I have started a ‘three sisters’ area in my garden where I have corn, beans and squash all going to seed at the same time. (I take into account that squash will cross-pollinate and take special precautions on how I save the seed.)

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