How to Chit Runner Beans

Updated July 20, 2017

Chitting is just another word for pre-germinating garden seeds. It is typically done to get a head-start on the growing season. The seeds can be started indoors, while the ground outside is still too cold for good germination. If planted in the garden too early, bean seeds will rot before they start to grow. Chitting your runner beans ensures they are already actively growing when you plant them in the garden.

Line the bottom of a plastic food container with a double layer of paper towels.

Mist the paper towel until it is thoroughly moist. Pour off any excess water.

Place the bean seeds 1 inch apart on the paper towel.

Place the lid on the box and put the box in a warm location.

Inspect the seeds every day. When they have roots that are 1 inch long, they are ready to be potted.


After potting your beans, grow them in a warm, sunny location until it's time to plant them in the garden.


Do not break the fragile roots when potting up the sprouted seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic food container
  • Paper towels
  • Mist bottle
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About the Author

Based in Orlando, Fla., Jim Ford started writing in 1980 for the "Rock Island Argus" newspaper in Illinois. He has been accredited as a Florida Certified Nursery Professional and has an Associate of Applied Science in horticulture/natural resources from Kirkwood Community College in Iowa.