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AlittleSalt April 15, 2016 12:32 PM

Soak Them or Not?
Sometime tomorrow (Saturday), I will be planting pole beans. I almost always soak beans overnight before planting them, but this time, there's a different factor to weigh in.

Starting Sunday, the forecast is rain for the next 5 days and up to 3-5" of rain for a huge area of Texas.

Our garden soil is oak leaf amended sandy loam that drains very well. There is a slight slope to the garden. There is clay 18-21" below the loam soil, so that shouldn't be a problem. It is never muddy in the garden.

Would you soak the beans or just plant them dry?

Worth1 April 15, 2016 12:54 PM

Salt I had everything wrote up and deleted it and now I am going to write it again.
If I were you I would start them in a warm house in cups and as they sprout put them outside in the day and in at night.
My reasons for this is two fold.
Snails and cold nights.
This will increase the sprouting time a lot and when you plant them out they will be bigger and more able to deal with a critter eating on them.
I am dragging all of my information up from growers in the UK as I feel they know more about runner beans than many people in the US.

Okay I could have sworn I saw runner beans now I see pole beans.:lol:
You can do the same with them too but my Kentucky wonder I just planted out.
And some others I planted in containers.
Right after I plated them out the cold snap hit then the snails hit.
Some made it through but some the snails or a darn bird ate back.
As far as soaking I see no need to soak a bean seed.
If the soil is moist it will be the same either way in 24 hours or less.


AlittleSalt April 15, 2016 01:16 PM

That is how I started our runner beans. I sown/sowed ...planted them directly into solo cups. They're transplanted out in the garden now.

Tormato April 15, 2016 03:34 PM

If I expected 5 days of rain (3-5 inches), I'd hold off on direct planting, let alone pre-soaking. I never pre-soak beans, just one more thing that can go wrong if there's too much rain.

AlittleSalt April 15, 2016 11:37 PM

I soaked beans in the past because that's what my grandfathers did. My father didn't soak his beans. I've seen both work.

The local forecasts are talking about maybe 8 inches of rain now. I think I'll wait to plant pole beans until after I see what happens here Sunday and Monday.

Zeedman April 18, 2016 12:45 AM


Originally Posted by Tormato (Post 551855)
If I expected 5 days of rain (3-5 inches), I'd hold off on direct planting, let alone pre-soaking. I never pre-soak beans, just one more thing that can go wrong if there's too much rain.

Ditto. If heavy rains are in the forecast, it might be best to wait a few days. I lost a good portion of all the beans & soybeans I planted last year, due to drenching rains for several days after planting. Those in the low end of the garden rotted in the ground. Only the cowpeas seemed to be unaffected.

I use a lot of bean transplants here, because I am saving seed, and can't afford to lose time if conditions don't allow direct seeding. If soil/weather are poor on the target date for planting, I plant in pots instead. After planting in individual pots, I soak the beans overnight - pots & all - then pour off excess water in the morning.

Pre-soaking the beans alone has advantages if planting into cool soil, and I know gardeners who swear by it... but I prefer not to. It runs the risk of infecting all seed in the container, should any one seed have a pathogen. If the soil is warm, there is probably no advantage to soaking.

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