How To Grow, Harvest, And Store Dried Beans

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When you’ve only seen beans in bags from a grocery store, it totally makes sense. I remember wondering how dried beans grew too! I actually find that quite a few people who visit my garden find the dried beans fascinating. I hope this guide dispels all the mystery and helps you feel confident in growing dried beans!

Well drained soil with consistent moisture. Well drained soil means that after heavy rains the water doesn’t sit and puddle up. On the other hand, you also don’t want it drain so fast that it dries too quickly.

Soil with average fertility is adequate. No need to add extra fertilizers unless you have very poor soil. When I started my garden, my soil was so poor in nutrients that my beans turned yellow! They needed nitrogen and and compost to bounce back. However, in most cases, you will not need to add nitrogen. If your worried you may need something more, a bit of compost will do the trick.

Beans are tender annual plants. They do not tolerate frost and should be planted after all danger of frost has passed. The best germination is achieved with soil temperatures of 70-80ºF.

This is usually when daytime temperatures are averaging about 60ºF. 

Direct sow outdoors, planting the seed 1 inch deep in the soil. Soaking the seeds prior to planting can damage the seed resulting in poor germination. 

I have tested both soaking and not soaking bean seeds in my own garden and have found that I have better germination by not soaking the seeds. 

When growing for dried beans you can either grow beans that are only good dried or a dual purpose bean. 

Dual purpose means they can be eaten in the fresh green stage as a snap bean or they can be left in the pod to dry.

Dried beans are grown exclusively for the purpose of eating dried. For this type, the bean is usually too tough and stringy to eat even when young and green.

Not sure which kind your growing? It will usually say on the seed packet whether or not it is a dual purpose bean. If it doesn’t say, you can do your own experiment and seed whether or not the pods are worth eating green as well. Pictures on the seed packets also indicate what kind of beans you can expect by having a picture of a dried bean instead of a snap bean.  

If your short on space, a dual purpose bean can be great for giving both snap and dried beans without the added space. You’ll never feel guilty about missing a snap bean again with dual purpose types.

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