Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Soak Bean Seeds Before Planting

beans image by saied shahinkiya from

One way to ensure your bean seeds get enough water to germinate successfully in the soil is to soak them ahead of time. While submerged, the bean seeds draw up the liquid and soften, making it easier for the seedling to emerge. If you want to increase the chances of germination in your garden, you’ll want to soak bean seeds before planting to make sure each seed becomes a productive plant.

Fill a small cereal bowl with approximately an inch of clean water the night before you want to plant your seeds.

Place your bean seeds in the water to form a single layer of seeds along the bottom. If you are preparing a lot of seeds, use more than one bowl to ensure your seeds aren’t resting on top of one another.

Cover over the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap to keep pets away from the water and set the bowl where it won’t be disturbed overnight. Remove the wrap in the morning just before you are ready to plant.

Dampen a paper towel and use it to line another bowl. Pick out the seeds from the water gently with clean hands and set them inside the bowl with the damp paper towel. The bean seeds should appear larger than the night before.

Plant your seeds immediately into the garden and water the soil well to moisten it. Your beans may now germinate two to three days sooner than the packaging states.


Use only clean bowls, water, and hands when you work with the bean seeds to keep any risk of disease or fungus down.

Garden Guides