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Can I plant a dried bean from a store-bought bag/bulk section?

jubilant cerise Apr 20, 2011 07:55 PM

I bought a bag of these beautiful rice beans and they're so unusual (for me, anyways) that I wondered about saving some to plant. They look like white Tic Tacs. Lol! - that doesn't sound so "beautiful" now, does it? :D But if this is possible, can someone give me any pointers on this? FYI that I'm not very good/experienced at gardening but I like to keep trying!

  1. j
    jumpingmonk Apr 21, 2011 04:09 AM

    In all probability, yes I do it all the time. Usually, all that has been done to the beans is that they have been dried, and so they are still perfectly viable. The only way you may get in trouble is if the beans were also irradiated (to kill pests) at some point. This bit is easy to determine; just take a few, sandwich them in a wet paper towel and keep said towel moist for a week or so. If the beans sprout, you're good to go (in theory you can use these sprouted beans as you planting but in all likelyhood unless you see the sprouts pretty early, they are likely to be too long to stiff and too crooked to slip into the soil without breaking, so those beans it may be easiest to discard and start with fresh ones. You can just then stick some of the beans in the soil when you want to plant (soaking them overnight can speed up germination). Also since you dont know the precise variety and hence if these are bush or pole beans, having a fell stakes, sticks or other things you can tie the plants to down the road might be a good idea, in case they are pole (i.e. vines that need something to climb on). Oh and it is possible that the beans just will not flower, some typeas are day length sensitive and you may not have the climate for that particular bean. Until recently I never saw my rice beans (note: I'm not talking about the same thing as you are, the rice beans I am working with are a small usually red asian legume that looks a little like a lilliputian hotdog that has outgrown its bun. The two just happen to share the same common name.) ever flower, as the climate where I live is not suited to "normal" rice beans (I happen to have stumbled on a freaky version last year, that is).

    3 Replies
    1. re: jumpingmonk
      jubilant cerise Apr 22, 2011 08:43 AM

      Thanks JM! I thought I had remembered sprouting dried beans with paper towel in a jar when I was a kid but it's been so long that I wasn't sure if I imagined it or not.

      1. re: jubilant cerise
        jumpingmonk Apr 22, 2011 09:56 AM

        I literally just got back from dumping a load onto one of the mulch piles, and I noted that as a result of some spare food ones I tossed out a few months ago, both mulch piles now have a ring of tiny soybean plants around them (plus a few lupini and senna seedlings) actually there are so many soybean plants I'm not sure if i actually NEED to plant any this year, the mulch volunteers could likely provide me with all the edamame I want on thier own.

        1. re: jumpingmonk
          jubilant cerise May 29, 2011 12:48 AM

          I found a wee tomato plant growing in my compost last year - unfortunately between the lame weather and my lack of skills/time it didn't survive. Despite my efforts, patience isn't something I've managed to hone for gardening or bread making but I'm sure one day it'll come. :)

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