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  • Runner beans rotting again

    This year I just seem to be getting my beans rotting in the pot despite only damping the compost. If I don't water when sowing it's too dry and if I just damp the compost they rot. I just can't win this season. Is it because its too cold? It's been freezing for June in Cheshire and looks set in for a few days.

  • #2
    I also had an awful germination rate.
    I have got just enough plants for my bean frame out of a 3 variety pack of French climbers and a pack of runners.
    The slug pellets had to come out to prevent the bark stripping slugs. There would have been no way if the slugs had stripped the bark.
    Near Worksop on heavy clay soil

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    • #3
      It's bad seeds. Sometimes you'll be unlucky and get a whole packet of seeds which are either dead or contaminated. If that happens, you should complain to the people you bought them from and get a replacement (from a different batch number, as the same batch might be similarly problematic).

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      • #4
        Try putting seeds onto wet tissue with wet tissue on top inside a bag so it doesn’t dry out,after five or seven days have a look for any shoots,if there’s none then it is the seeds at fault. Must be tested first as they could’ve dried out straight after germinating or they could’ve been over watered.
        I have to water twice,once when sowing & then again about four or five days later,just to wet the top of the compost so they can push through. I have them germinate on the windowsill so they have a steady temperature,outside has been cold at night,that could be a cause of problems germinating.
        Location : Essex

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        • #5
          It's a packet of Armstrong I got 3 or 4 years ago. I just thought beans stayed dormant for years, and they have been great plants in previous seasons. I put slug be gone wool pellets down for the amount I managed to germinate earlier in April but they have done absolutely nothing to stop them. In fact, I spotted one slug eating a pellet. An expensive waste of money.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Marb67 View Post
            It's a packet of Armstrong I got 3 or 4 years ago. I just thought beans stayed dormant for years, and they have been great plants in previous seasons.
            It'll definitely be old seeds, then.
            Bean seeds can potentially stay dormant for a few years, but 2-3 years is about the normal lifespan for reliable germination. Longer storage generally needs perfect conditions, which you won't be able to provide at home.
            Last edited by ameno; 30-06-2022, 02:29 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ameno View Post

              It'll definitely be old seeds, then.
              Bean seeds can potentially stay dormant for a few years, but 2-3 years is about the normal lifespan for reliable germination. Longer storage generally needs perfect conditions, which you won't be able to provide at home.
              I concur. Sorry if that seems presumptuous, ameno, as you obviously know far more than me on the subject. I was a bit optimistic and tried sowing some Sonesta beans that I'd had for three years, hoping for the best, like you Marb. Out of about 60 sown, four germinated. I'll plant mine out and keep any beans for sowing next year, as I can't buy these anymore and I really like them.
              Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Snoop Puss View Post

                I concur. Sorry if that seems presumptuous, ameno, as you obviously know far more than me on the subject. I was a bit optimistic and tried sowing some Sonesta beans that I'd had for three years, hoping for the best, like you Marb. Out of about 60 sown, four germinated. I'll plant mine out and keep any beans for sowing next year, as I can't buy these anymore and I really like them.
                I also agree, having chitted the remains of a packet of Sonesta beans (about 100 seeds). About 1/4 of them produced a root, and about half of those that did actually produced a plant. Old seeds are often poor, even if they germinate they may not grow properly.

                I bought a new packet of seeds in the spring and will be devastated if I can't get any more when I have used those. I am already unable to get my favourite variety of carrot (Nantes Frubund), cucumber (Cucino) and potato (Lady Christl) and I think my favourite runner bean (Stardust) is going the same way. I haven't seen any explanation for this, but I have a feeling it could be to do with Brexit.
                A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP. - Leonard Nimoy

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                • #9
                  Certainly my difficulties are caused by Brexit, as I used to buy most of my seeds from UK suppliers. Can't do that now, so I buy from French suppliers (Spanish ones don't have much of a selection). I've even seen one French supplier with a note saying 'merci Brexit' appended to a yellow courgette they can't get supplies of any more.

                  With regard to Sonesta, you might be OK, Penellype, as Nicos has found a French supplier for me since I posted here. You might be in luck in the UK.
                  Last edited by Snoop Puss; 03-07-2022, 09:05 AM.
                  Location: north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep. Last frost: usually mid-April, sometimes first week in May. First frost: mid-October.

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