Planting the same varieties of your vegetables year after year requires collecting seeds in the fall for replanting the following spring. Runner beans are especially straightforward to propagate -- and propagation is done with ease as long as your plants are healthy, productive and full of mature pods. Collect runner bean seeds in one day -- and store them for later planting for three to five years.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Ribbon or yarn
- Two bowls
- Paper plate
- Envelope or jar
Look over your runner bean plants for the healthiest of stems and leaves. Propagate plants which aren't susceptible to disease. Tie a length of ribbon or yarn around the stems of your healthy plants to mark them.
Collect mature pods to harvest them for eating once the pods begin to swell. However, leave the pods on the vine of the runner bean plants you tied string to. Let the remaining pods dry over a period of six to seven weeks, during which time they will turn brown, harden and become brittle.
Place or hold one of your bowls under the dried pods. Pull the pods from the plant and allow them to fall into the bowl. Gather all the dried pods from your selected plants.
Break open each pod individually and drop the seeds into your second bowl until all the pods are opened. Discard the broken portions of the pod or compost them and keep only the seeds.
Spread the seeds out in a single layer on a paper plate. Put the plate in a warm, dry room of your home, away from direct sunlight, and leave it for a week for the seeds to dry thoroughly.
Pour the dried seeds into an envelope or jar. Seal the envelope or jar and place it in a cool, dry area of your home -- where temperature and humidity will not fluctuate.
Tips and warnings
- Leave pods to dry on the plant -- both early in the growing season as well as late -- to allow you to collect seeds from runner bean plants, which mature fast and slow.
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