Preserving Green Bean Seeds

Overview

Green bean seeds are some of the easiest seeds to save, and the International Seed Saving Institute recommends them for gardeners who are just beginning to practice seed-saving. If you have a crop of green beans from non-hybrid seeds, try saving some for your next planting. Hybrid seeds have been bred to produce a better crop, but may not breed and produce a successful crop from their harvested seeds. If you still have your seed packet, check to see if they say "hybrid" on the label, or speak to a worker where you purchased your seeds.

Step 1

Open healthy bean pods and remove the seeds when they are brown and dry. This should be about four to six weeks after you harvest beans for eating.

Step 2

Place the seeds in a plastic bag, and put them in the freezer for 48 hours. This will kill insect eggs that could be on the seeds.

Step 3

Remove the seeds from the freezer after 48 hours, but do not remove them from the plastic bag until they have thawed to room temperature.

Step 4

Place the room-temperature seeds on paper plates or paper toweling, and allow them to air-dry for 48 hours. Roll them around periodically so air can get to all sides of them.

Step 5

Place the dry seeds in an airtight container, and store the container in a cool, dark place until you're ready to use the seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you store green bean seeds while they are still moist, they will cause mold in the storage container and rot the other seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Zipper plastic bag
  • Paper plates or paper toweling
  • Airtight container

References

  • International Seed Saving Institute: Beginner Seeds: Bean
  • Primal Seeds: Hybrid vs. Open Pollinated
  • Container Seeds: Plant Profile: Snap Beans
  • Oregon State University: Collecting and Storing Seeds From Your Garden

Who Can Help

  • University of Illinois Extension: Watch Your Garden Grow: Beans
Keywords: saving green bean seeds, preserving green bean seeds, harvesting green bean seeds

About this Author

A freelance writer for more than 12 years, Traci Vandermark has written extensively on health and fitness topics. She is a student of health, fitness and nutrition at the International Institute Of Holistic Healing, certified by the American Association of Nutritional Consultants. Her articles have appeared in Catskill Country Magazine, The Lookout Magazine, Capper's, Birds and Blooms and Country Discoveries, to name a few.