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Old September 29, 2013   #1
gardengalrn
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Default More bean seed saving questions

I ripped out my bean bushes today and found many old pods that I had missed. I believe all varieties are heirloom, so I thought why waste the seeds? I had several questions as I've never thought to save them before. Some pods were drier than others so some of the seeds hadn't developed their full color, I assume I should just toss these as they are immature? Second, in the last few weeks I had a tremendous beetle problem. Not sure what kind, they looked a lot like cuke beetles but I wouldn't swear to it. They basically decimated my plants. Many of the pods had holes in them but the seed inside appeared undamaged. Should I question if there are some sort of larva in them? I was noticing some pod damage before the beetle infestation as well. Thanks!
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Old September 29, 2013   #2
Doug9345
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If the seed is full grown but just haven't dried yet they should grow just fine. If in doubt keep them separate and do a germination test on them.

If I thought I had a bug problem I'd look individual seeds over , lay them out in the sun spread out to dry and keep moving them about. After they were really dry I'd put them in the freezer in a glass jar for a few days.
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Old September 30, 2013   #3
habitat_gardener
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"Dry enough" means that if you hit them with a hammer, they will shatter. If they smoosh, they're not dry enough, and if you freeze beans with a moisture content that's too high, they will no longer be viable.

I've read that it takes a few days at 0F (chest freezer) to kill weevil eggs, or 2-3 weeks in a refrigerator's freezer compartment (doesn't get down to 0F, but is at least 32F). Has anyone tried a freezer compartment? How long?

I've been saving one variety for several years, and one year I had only 3 beans -- and pretty sorry looking ones. I've found that it pays to try growing what you have if you have a difficult-to-obtain variety.

I store my beans in mason jars so that if weevils hatch in one variety, they won't spread to any others.
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Old September 30, 2013   #4
ginger2778
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"Dry enough" means that if you hit them with a hammer, they will shatter. If they smoosh, they're not dry enough, and if you freeze beans with a moisture content that's too high, they will no longer.
I am just now learning about beans, so this is great info. Thank you.

Marsha
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Old September 30, 2013   #5
Labradors2
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I've read that it takes a few days at 0F (chest freezer) to kill weevil eggs, or 2-3 weeks in a refrigerator's freezer compartment (doesn't get down to 0F, but is at least 32F). Has anyone tried a freezer compartment? How long?

I've been saving one variety for several years, and one year I had only 3 beans -- and pretty sorry looking ones. I've found that it pays to try growing what you have if you have a difficult-to-obtain variety.

I store my beans in mason jars so that if weevils hatch in one variety, they won't spread to any others.
Weevils sound nasty so I looked them up. Apparently you can kill the weevils by heating up the beans.

http://www.organicgardeninfo.com/bean-weevil.html

Linda
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Old September 30, 2013   #6
Doug9345
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Weevils sound nasty so I looked them up. Apparently you can kill the weevils by heating up the beans.

http://www.organicgardeninfo.com/bean-weevil.html

Linda
That should also kill the bean seed. It doesn't matter if they are beans to eat but not good if they are seed to grow.
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Old September 30, 2013   #7
Labradors2
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That should also kill the bean seed. It doesn't matter if they are beans to eat but not good if they are seed to grow.
Oops! Not a good idea then!

Would signs of weevils be fairly obvious in beans? I'd hate to unwittingly introduce the nasty things to my garden.

Linda
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Old September 30, 2013   #8
Tormato
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Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
"Dry enough" means that if you hit them with a hammer, they will shatter. If they smoosh, they're not dry enough, and if you freeze beans with a moisture content that's too high, they will no longer be viable.

I've read that it takes a few days at 0F (chest freezer) to kill weevil eggs, or 2-3 weeks in a refrigerator's freezer compartment (doesn't get down to 0F, but is at least 32F). Has anyone tried a freezer compartment? How long?

I've been saving one variety for several years, and one year I had only 3 beans -- and pretty sorry looking ones. I've found that it pays to try growing what you have if you have a difficult-to-obtain variety.

I store my beans in mason jars so that if weevils hatch in one variety, they won't spread to any others.
48 hours at freezing temps (it doesn't matter if it's 0F or 30F) is what I've read. I did the freezer compartment once (a trade for cowpeas that were infested), and it worked.

The weevils were one of only a few bonuses, in trades, that I had no use for.

Gary
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Old September 30, 2013   #9
Worth1
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48 hours at freezing temps (it doesn't matter if it's 0F or 30F) is what I've read. I did the freezer compartment once (a trade for cowpeas that were infested), and it worked.

The weevils were one of only a few bonuses, in trades, that I had no use for.

Gary

I guess I should take my stuff to work and let them go to -30F for two weeks.

Worth
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Old September 30, 2013   #10
Doug9345
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I guess I should take my stuff to work and let them go to -30F for two weeks.

Worth
I want to see you explaining at the airport why you have 10 lbs of beans all in envelopes with you.
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Old September 30, 2013   #11
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A long time ago we'd get various surplus things for animal feed. I remember some pancake mix that had weevils in it. You dump it and the chichen would go nuts eating them. We christened it Instant weevil mix.

We also got a huge box of TRIX but we couldn't use it. We only a a bunny, but no goats.
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Old September 30, 2013   #12
habitat_gardener
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I found this at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2085.html:

"All insect life stages can be killed by super-cooling in a deep freeze at 0 degrees F for 4 days, cold storage at 32 degrees F for 58 days, or super-heating in an oven at 145 degrees F for 2 hours or in a microwave oven for 5 minutes. However, seeds saved for planting may have the germination reduced by super-cooling, super-heating, or microwave methods. After treatment, seeds should be stored in containers of glass, heavy plastic, or metal with screw-type, airtight lids. Refrigeration or deep freeze storage is helpful."

Ok then. To optimize germination and avoid weevil infestation, first make sure they're dry, then put them in the freezer compartment for a couple months.

I've also read that after you take the beans out of the freezer, don't open the container before it has returned to room temp, or else the beans will no longer be viable.
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Old September 30, 2013   #13
Doug9345
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I found this at http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2085.html:

I've also read that after you take the beans out of the freezer, don't open the container before it has returned to room temp, or else the beans will no longer be viable.
The problem is the amount of moisture you are going to introduce into the jar when warm humid air hits those ice cold seeds.
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Old October 1, 2013   #14
habitat_gardener
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Would signs of weevils be fairly obvious in beans? I'd hate to unwittingly introduce the nasty things to my garden.

Linda
What I've seen in my tightly closed mason jars: little black things among the beans. Holes in the beans. Usually they emerge before the next planting season, though I have had beans that looked ok the spring after they were harvested but had weevils a year after that.

The worst was when I got seeds in paper envelopes from someone at the community garden. It appeared that the weevils were only in that one envelope, but the thought of any of my other seeds getting infested was horrifying!
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Old October 5, 2013   #15
Tormato
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I always take beans out of paper envelopes and put them into clear containers. I'll look at them every few weeks for signs of insects. There's no need to freeze in there are no critters.

Gary
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