Saving Seeds: Starting with Beans

I’ve never done much with seed saving, but this year I’m ready to give it a try. The main reason is that this year I’ve been growing and shelling heirloom beans, and those are some of the easiest seeds to save.

Why? Well, partly because I’m already doing it. With dried beans, the seed is exactly the same as the crop. If I’m saving dried beans to eat, why not also hold a few back for seed next year?

Beans are also a good choice for seed saving, because they’re self-pollinated, rather than cross-pollinated. More about that distinction here.

And for these beans in particular (Kentucky Wonder Beans), they’re open pollinated (and an heirloom) as opposed to a hybrid. More about those distinctions here.

It does get complicated, doesn’t it? But if they’re heirloom beans, it’s simple. You can save seed and are likely to get good results. Here are a few photos of the Kentucky Wonder Beans from my garden.

Bean 1

Fresh green beans: You could eat them as green beans at this stage, or leave the pods to dry.


After the pods have dried, and the beans are ready to shell.

Wonder Beans

Shelled beans: Ready to cook, or to save and plant next year.


3 responses to “Saving Seeds: Starting with Beans

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