Sow bean seeds outside 5/15-6/15 (after soil temp has reached at least 60 °). Sow seeds 1” deep, 4” apart in rows 18” apart. Protect seedlings from slugs/snails (use caffeinated coffee grounds or organic phosphate based slug bait). Days to germination: 6-16. Beans perform best if the seeds are inoculated with Bean Inoculant at planting time. Protect plants from groundhogs & deer. In humid climates, dry-bean plants benefit from wide spacing for good air circulation so that pods can dry down in late summer.
Leave pods on the plants until they turn tan and are dry. Harvest during a dry spell when pods and plants are totally dry. Harvest by picking pods by hand or by cutting entire plants and drying them. Remove seeds from a few pods, do this by hand. To thresh (remove) a large quantity of seeds allow the pods to dry in a protected environment then thresh them. If humidity in the air is high, consider drying pods in a dehumidified environment to make pods super dry and crispy - thresh by placing the pods on a tarp and gently stepping on them to release the pods. Clean the seeds by winnowing with a fan.
Beans are an easy seed saving crop. They will not cross with other bean species and tend to self-pollinate. 10-20 ft between bean varieties is often good enough, 50 feet isolation distance is ideal. Minimum population size: 10 plants. Allow seeds to mature on the plants (pods will become tan and dry). Save seeds only from the best plants. Clean seed as a dry-seeded crop.
Our Recommendations with Black Turtle Organic Bean