Seed harvesting is a process that should be done with care in order to maintain the viability of the seed for future planting. Green beans are a warm-season crop and their seeds will mature at different times, so it is important to know when to harvest them for the best results.
When to Harvest Green Bean Seeds
When harvesting green beans for seed production, you will want to wait until the pods have turned dark and are beginning to dry out before picking them off the plant. You should not harvest too much of your crop at once as this can lead to poor-quality seeds. Instead, it is best to pick and process them in small batches ensuring that they are properly dried and cleaned before storing.
How to Harvest Green Bean Seeds
Harvesting green bean seeds is a simple process. First, using pruners or scissors, cut the pods off of the vine. Once you have harvested the beans, it is important to separate the viable seeds from any debris or chaff. To do this, lightly rub the pods between your fingers until the seeds fall away from the pod. The next step is to dry them out in a warm, bright, and well-ventilated area. Place the seeds on a flat surface and make sure they are not in direct sunlight or placed near any heat source as this can damage them.
How to Select Unsuitable Seeds
It is important to only select seeds from healthy vines. Unsuitable seeds may be immature, damaged, or contain diseases. Immature green bean seeds will appear small and pale in color compared to fully mature ones. Damaged beans will have discoloration, cuts, and holes in them. If you are unsure if the seed is suitable for germination, it is best to discard it.
Storage Conditions and Terms
Green Beans intended for grain can be stored for three to four years. The main thing is to observe three basic conditions:
- Store seeds at temperatures of 32 to 41 degrees F. (0-5 C.). The lower the temperature, the better. Keep stored in a cool, dry and dark place with an optimal relative humidity of 65%.
- To ensure long-term storage, beans should be stored with a minimum moisture content of 13%. This can be checked using a seed moisture meter.
- Seeds should be stored in airtight containers like glass jars or plastic bags to help maintain their shelf life. Freezing is also an option to help preserve seeds and extend their shelf life.