In this tip:
- A)# Folding kitchen paper
- B)# Sowing beans in an ice cream box on kitchen paper
- C)# Small bean plants
- D)# General remarks about this procedure
- E)# How fast germinating and growing
- F)# Putting in a big tray or in flower pots
- G)# Toppling
- H)# Safety
- I)# Soaking prior to germinating?
- J)# Curling
- K)# Wikihow
- L)# Germinating other big seeds (Horse beans, (Snow) Peas, Zucchini, Cucumber, Pumpkin)
- L)# Germinating other big seeds (Horse beans, (Snow) Peas, Zucchini, Cucumber, Pumpkin, Peanuts)
- M)# Warm bean seed germination
- N)# Youtube video: this Dutch video (about germination of beans).
This tip concerns sowing and germinating bean seeds on moist (absorbing) kitchen paper.
Extra tests about germinating bean seeds are described in tip 35) More tips about germinating beans .
Below a description of the best and most useful method for this.
When sowing beans directly into the garden soil, not all seeds turn into plants. See photos below in the garden of my allotment colleague.
1st row: Near the string, one bean seed has been sown every 10 centimeters (4 inch). Few bean plants have emerged. Later on, bean seeds have reseeded at the empty positions.
2nd row: Near the string, one bean seed has been sown every 10 centimeters (4 inch). Few bean plants have emerged. Later on, bean seeds have reseeded at the empty positions too.
(behind this row there is the 1st row with bigger bean plants).
Cause: Some bean seeds have been rotten (due to rain) or did not germinate (too dry or too cold). Result: a row of bean plants with empty spots.
Usually one sows new bean seeds on these empty spots. Not all bean seeds turn into plants. Next step is sowing new beans at the empty spots, and so on.
Sow bean seeds on moist (absorbing) kitchen paper and replant the small bean plants in the garden soil. The small bean plants grow into big ones.
When using this method, there is less attack by the bean seed fly. The maggots make holes in the germinating bean seeds in the soil. The bean plants emerge with no leaves and the plants die. More info on this site .
Below info about germinating bean seeds on moist kitchen paper.
A)# Folding kitchen paper
Depending of the size of the box (tray) and the size of absorbing paper you can fold as shown in the photos above. This results in 6 layers of paper.
You can write info on the paper (variety, date).
B)# Sowing beans in an (ice cream) box on kitchen paper
- Use a tray with a flat bottom, for example an ice cream box. Sides are about 6 centimeters (2.4 inch) high.
- Lay folded kitchen paper (6 layers) on the bottom of the tray.
- Moisten the paper with water;
- Pour much water in the box on the paper.
- Keep the box slanting and let water flow out of the box until dripping starts.
- Put the box straight again.
- Lay 30 to 50 bean seeds on moist kitchen paper (see photo above).
- Lay a lid on the box. Info about this lid see chapter B1.
- Place the whole on a warm spot, 18 to 25 C (65 to 77 F).
- Regularly check the germination.
- Add water on the paper when needed.
- Take big plants (3 to 5 centimeters, 1.2 to 2 inch high) from the paper and put them in the soil.
B1) A lid on the box
Lay a lid on the box with germinating bean seeds to keep the paper moist for a long time. When the paper is dry, germination stops.
The lid is on the box until the first bean plants are about 3 to 5 centimeters (1.2 to 2 inch) high. From then on check, take big bean plants out and put the lid on the box again.
B1a) Original lid
Put the original lid “loose” on the box. There are many air openings (splits) between box and lid and the paper does not dry out fast.
- Don’t push on the original lid, this causes the lid to stuck on top of the box. When removing the lid, bean seeds can roll or shift.
- When stacking many boxes on each other, do this with care. Otherwise lids can stuck on top of the boxes.
B1b) “Cardboard lid”
When you don’t use the original lid, you can use this type of lid. tip 35) More tips about germinating beans tells you how to make this lid.
C)# Small bean plants
After 5 to 10 days of germination, there are bean plants with leaves and roots. Water the kitchen paper to ease the picking up of bean plants. Carefully pick the bean plant from the paper. Meanwhile use fingers to hold back the paper and other bean seeds. Put the plant(s) in the soil and spray water on.
Remark 1: Molding (fungus)
When many bean seeds mold during germinating, the seeds are “old” or not stored well (at the seed merchant, in the store or at the customer).
Try to get new bean seeds that are less old;
- Having a later “expiration date“,
- Or having a higher batch number on the package (351284 on the photo above).
- Or buy bean seeds of another variety.
You don’t have to throw away the molding bean seeds. You can do as follows:
Pick the “good or pretty good looking” bean seeds, each one with a little root from the moist paper.
Put the seeds in flower pots filled with sieved compost. Put each seed “half” in the compost with its root down in the compost. Spray water on the compost.
Put the pots with germinating bean seeds in the garden soil (in a greenhouse, foil tunnel or greenhouse tunnel). Or put them at a warm spot indoors.
Let the bean plants grow bigger there.
When the plants are about 5 to 10 centimeters (2 to 4 inch) above the edge of the pot, take them out of the pots (with root ball) and replant them (with root ball) in the garden soil.
Test: these “old” bean seeds even germinate less in moist quartz sand;
More molding seeds and less “good or pretty good looking” bean seeds.
Remark 2: No leaves
A few germinating bean seeds don’t have leafs. These seeds don’t grow into (good) bean plants. You better put them on the compost container.
Remark 3: Mud in the box after planting
When planting small bean plants, earth can stick to your fingers. When picking the next bean plant, the garden earth drops into the box. Not so useful.
You better pick all big bean plants with clean hands out of the box first.
Put them in another tray. Spray water on these plants to keep them firm. Replant them in the soil within a few hours.
Remark 4: Re-using moist kitchen paper (flip over)
When all small bean plants are out of the box, you can flip the moist kitchen paper.
And put new bean seeds on. Can be useful.
Remark 5: Useful method for replanting
Below a handy procedure to replant 4 bean plants in a group in the soil while no roots of the bean plants “get in the way”.
Dig a planting hole in the soil. Shove the earth aside (for example to left).
Take 2 bean plants at the leaves together.
Hold the roots of the plants in the planting hole, with the leaves a few centimeters (about 1 inch) above the soil. Meanwhile shove garden earth against the roots and stems.
Make a new planting hole next to the planted beans. Shove the earth aside (to right).
Take 2 new bean plants and replant them in the planting hole at the same way.
All 4 bean plants are in the soil now, a few centimeters (about 1 inch) above the soil.
Spray water on the plants and on the soil. Let the bean plants grow bigger.
Remark 6: Planting at warm, dry weather;
Put small bean plants in a shallow hole in the garden soil. Pour water on and put dry hay around the plants. Water the plants every 2 days. The garden soil stays moist and the bean plants grow well. More info in tip 10 .
Remark 7: Protection from snail eating or slug eating;
In a garden with a hedge or shrubs there are snails or slugs that eat small bean plants during the night.
You can put flower pots or (transparent plastic) boxes over the small bean plant at night.
And remove the small pots or boxes in the morning.
When the small pots or boxes do not fit over the bean plants anymore, the plants are so big that snails or slugs do not eat them anymore.
D)# General remarks about this procedure
- The lid is on the box during all germination time. The lid is only removed for a short time when looking in, taking bean plants out or when adding water.
- The original lid works best on the box.
- Clean boxes before use (wash up in dish soap, rinse and dry).
- Pour or spray tap water in the box. At rain water more risk of rotting seeds.
- Germinating seeds “stink”.
- Not all seeds germinate at the same time.
- Paper is well moist; you see water appearing some seconds after slanting the box. Or the paper feels moist.
- Long bean plants? Plant them deeper in the soil.
- On bean seeds, green/blue fungus spots can appear.
- Some beans can rot on the kitchen paper. Just remove them.
- Old bean seed gives more rotting seeds and/or fungus spots.
- In the box, seeds germinate under ideal circumstances: humidity, air, temperature.
- More beans needed, place more boxes with lids on top of each other.
- You can replant bean plants at all weather conditions, when not freezing.
- When there is too much water in the box, don’t water for some days. Or use new kitchen paper or tissues to absorb the excess of water.
- When you lay bush bean seeds on moist kitchen paper very early and replant the bean plants under a (tunnel) greenhouse, you can harvest early beans
- Write info (variety, date) on the kitchen paper before wetting.
- When bean seeds germinate in (pitch) darkness, you get small bean plants with light yellow leaves. In day light, the leaves discolor to green within 1 day.
E)# How fast germinating and growing
On the photos above you see 20 germinating bean seeds, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10 or 11 days after laying on the moist paper. Temperature was about 20 C (68 F).
From 8 days on, there are bean plants that are big enough to be replanted.
F)# Putting in a big tray or in flower pots
When there are big stake bean plants on moist kitchen paper, it can be freezing or too cold to replant in the garden soil. Then use a washing-up bowl or big tray with compost to replant in;
Put the stake bean plants in a tray in a layer of compost or compost/garden earth mixture. Put the tray at a cold, light place (outside under a roof or indoors before a window). Replant the bean plants in the garden soil when the weather is good (frost free).
You can replant bush bean plants in flower pots (with inserts).
- Use 2 equal size flower pots, upper diameter is about 12 centimeters (5 inch).
- At one pot cut away a part of the side wall to make a insert.
- Put the insert in the flower pot.
- Fill with compost (or a mixture of compost and garden soil).
- Put 4 bean plants in the flower pot.
- Let the plants grow bigger in the pots.
- You can easily remove the root ball with plants when planting out in the garden soil.
You can use normal plastic flower pots, with no inserts. It is a little harder to get the root ball with plants out of these pots. Plastic flower pots with thin side walls and thin bottom can be used well (you can lift the whole root ball).
You can put many flower pots (each with 4 small bean plants) in a laundry basket. Lay a piece of wire netting on top against (Black)birds that search for earth worms in the compost.
Put the basket to your garden at good planting weather and put the plants in the garden soil.
During germinating on moist paper, some bean plants fall over and grow with curved stems. Plant them in the soil with the stem upright. In the soil, the roots will grow straight down.
During germination, bacteria and fungi are active. In the soil but also on moist absorbing paper. These organisms are not extreme dangerous. But still; always wash hands after gardening, after touching plants on moist paper and before eating or drinking.
I)# Soaking prior to germinating?
Is germinating faster when seeds have been soaked in water before laying on paper?
Test: lay a few bean seeds in cold water for 1,2,4,8,12 or 24 hours. Some seeds are not soaked. Then lay all seeds on on moist kitchen paper to germinate. Test was done twice. Below the results;
Bean seeds left from the red line have been soaked in water. Right from this line not soaked. Then germinated on moist paper at 20 C (68 F) for 5 days.
Bean seeds left from the red line have been soaked in water. Right from this line not soaked. Then germinated on moist paper at 20 C (68 F) for 10 days.
- Soaked seeds don’t germinate faster than non-soaked.
- Soaked seeds give more rotting (brown) seeds.
Best way is putting dry seeds on moist absorbing paper.
When germinating, bean plants show “curling”. The curled bean plants get “straight” within 2 days.
Beans that “germinate in the dark” on moist paper, result in plants with light yellow leaves. These leaves turn into green within 1 day.
I wrote an article about this topic on Wikihow. Click on: wikihow beans .
L)# Germinating other big seeds (Horse beans, (Snow) Peas, Zucchini, Cucumber, Pumpkin)
Germinating beans on moist paper goes well. But other big seeds too.
L1) Horse beans
Nine (9) seeds of horse beans (broad beans) germinate on moist paper. One seed is rotting (top left).
Eight seeds grew into good plants.
You can put each plant in e flower pot (with insert) filled with compost.
Or in a big flower pot (with thin wall and bottom) filled with compost. You can press the root ball with bean plants out of the flower pot.
L2) Peas and Snow peas
You can germinate peas and snow peas in the same way. Many plants have a root and a stem. They are big enough to replant.
Spray much water on the kitchen paper. Carefully pick the plants from the paper. Peas and snow peas plants have a long taproot.
You can plant the (snow) pea plants in a tray filled with compost. Spray water on the compost and on the plants.
Let the plants in the box grow bigger indoors or outdoors at a warm, light place.
You can put the box under a tunnel greenhouse in your garden. Let the plants grow bigger there. Replant them later.
L3) Zucchini (Courgette), Cucumber, Pumpkin
The seeds of cucumber, zucchini and pumpkin are big, so easy to germinate on moist kitchen paper.
This photo shows germinating seeds of (from left to right) cucumber, yellow zucchini (courgette), pumpkin and green zucchini (courgette) on moist kitchen paper.
- Plant each little plant deep in 1 flower pot filled with sieved compost.
- Put a label with info in each flower pot.
- You can put many flower pots with plants in a low tray.
- Put the tray (with plants in pots) under a tunnel greenhouse or in another greenhouse during warm and/or sunny weather. Put the tray indoors at cold (freezing) weather or cold nights. Let the plants grow bigger in the flower pots.
- Bigger grown plants in flower pots. They will be planted in the garden soil soon (when there is no freezing weather to be expected).
- When you have put a label in each flower pot, you know what plant is in a flower pot; small cucumber plants, pumpkin plants and zucchini plants look alike.
You can germinate unroasted peanuts on moist kitchen paper. Many peanut seeds will mold during germination; remove them.
Peanuts with a small root can be put in a flower pot with compost.
Let the plants grow bigger on a light, warm place. Take the bigger peanut plants out of the pot and replant them in the garden soil.
M)# Warm bean seed germination
When bean seeds are old, there can be mold (fungus) on the seeds during germination at room temperature, 20 C (68 F). Most seeds grow into bean plants, but a few seeds with fungus will rot.
Germinate “old” bean seeds on moist kitchen paper on a warm apparatus, that’s better. At higher temperature, germinating is much faster than molding. See photo above:
- Left box: old bean seed, germinated warm (30 C, 86 F) for 5 days.
- Right box: old bean seed, germinated cold (20 C, 68 F) for 5 days.
N)# Youtube video:
On the internet I found these interesting videos about seeds and germination;
This video (about germinating all kind of seeds).
and this Dutch video (about germination of bean seeds)