soaking bean and pea seeds?

Durham, NC(Zone 7b)

Want to see if anyone soaks bean and pea seeds or if that is one of those wives tales. If so what do you soak them in?

Boise City, OK(Zone 6a)

I soak mine for an hour or so in warm water to give them a little jump start. Don't know if it is necessary but just doing what my daddy always did.

Shawnee Mission, KS(Zone 6a)

Soak them overnight, drain water off, roll in bean or pea inoculent, and plant

This message was edited Sep 20, 2011 4:33 PM

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

this was my first year but took everyones advice and soaked the seeds, germination was great !

Hilliard, FL(Zone 8b)

I never have soaked my pea or bean seeds, and have always had good germination, but soaking them certainly would not hurt.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

We did it in grade school, in a paper towel, and it worked back then!

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

My Grandfather an old countryman used to soak pea and bean seeds in Paraffin, yes thats right, this was to prevent mice, rabbit's, squirrels, voles, mole etc from sniffing out the seeds and eating them in the colder weather. His son, my father used to soak his pea, bean and all hard coated seeds (lupin, sweat-peas etc) overnight in warm water left the container beside the kitchen stove, by following evening, you could just make out the ting little growing shoot that had began to make new life, the channel was drawn in the soil with the tip of the hose, then flooded with water, and we kids all got to drop the peas, beans etc into the drills and cover the seeds, running to the end to place the label into place at each end.
My friend thinks we are molly codling the seeds and she just soaks the drills and lays the seeds right out the packet and to be honest her plants are only about 2 weeks behind ours so best to do trial for yourself. hope this is informative and you have many good crops to come and enjoyment. good luck. WeeNel.

Poughkeepsie, NY(Zone 6a)

I soak for an hour or two and sometimes overnight. It gives them a good jump start.

Glassboro, NJ

WeeNel, I Love your Stories... Thank You.

Delhi, LA

I had never soaked any seed other than okra. This fall I could not get squash up until I soaked them over night. This spring everything will get a soaking before planting.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Like Jim41, the only seed I have soaked is okra. I add a splash of hydrogen peroxide to the water.

A friend soaks his beans, peas and okra seed in water with a tad of bleach in it. He says his folks did that too.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

WeeNel I assume that your Paraffin is what we call kerosene not a wax for putting on Jelly/Jam jars.

Delhi, LA

I use pure Clorox to soak okra seed. Have to keep a watch on it and remove the seed when they get soft. Usually about 30 minutes.

Ayrshire Scotland, United Kingdom

HI Doug94345, I think the paraffin used would be what you call Kerosene, our paraffin was used for heating small heaters that could be transported around the home, (yes now-a-days) dangerous but in those days a necessity in our winters, even in todays modern world, you would be hard pushed to find a domestic building with air conditioning in it anywhere in UK.
Dare I tell you that we made our own sealing wax from bee's wax gathered from the honey combs every year, Nothing was wastes and even today there are things passed down to me that I still do today within the garden and home, still alive, no one has died from the stuff passed down to us. The exception of stuff we know are dangerous / poisonous or harmful like DDT, burning Tobacco sticks in greenhouse to kill off bugs etc, UK have banned loads of chemicals used Willy nilly and thrown about like a man with no arms, so unless there is no other more natural way, my last resort would be to go buy a chemical cure to help, but I am surrounded with wild life birds, hedgehogs, Roe deer, water voles birds of pray etc, some of which I get angry with while chomping my garden to bits but, My home (like thousands of others around the world) was built on land habituated by these wild animals long before town folks wanted to go live in the countryside, so my garden store is empty of any chemicals just now, long may it last. My last three generations all gardened naturally and were able to feed and decorate the family through what they called their hobby, I just garden the way I was taught from childhood, looking, helping and growing stuff in my own childish ways till I grew up and got a garden after I was married. Still love it, Husband don't know a Dandelion from a Daisey but helps me out.
I still want to carry on and do it but, like all my forefathers, age is becoming a problem as are the energy levels but, aches and pains with other health problems, I now have my grandkids wanting to help just as I did, and I know that there will be hundreds of folks on Dave's who had the same teaching as myself. good luck to all of them, carry on the good work ha, ha, ha.
Take care. WeeNel.

West Palm Beach, FL(Zone 10b)

hey, podster - why hydrogen peroxide to the water? ...and how much peroxide to water?

is it just beans you do that to, or other seeds as well?

Highgrove, CA

i most definitely soak them. wouldn't do it any other way!

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

Quote from SoFlaCommercial :
hey, podster - why hydrogen peroxide to the water? ...and how much peroxide to water?

is it just beans you do that to, or other seeds as well?

I mainly soak okra seed, others like beans when I think of it.
I use the peroxide as it adds oxygen to the water. It also should help prevent bacteria, mold or virus problems.

West Palm Beach, FL(Zone 10b)

oh, wow! thanks, podster. greatly helpful.

with all the rain we're getting down here in south florida, i don't think i can directly sow and may have to do the seed starting with the mat and lights until it clears up and get warm enough (supposed to be only 75 degrees rest of week, but back up to 80s by halloween). want to give my seeds the best chance; you know?

also - i think it was you, or on a post you made once, about liquid kelp/seaweed and also fish emulsion that I could get online. do you remember? if so, please post again.


god bless

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

No, that I've never used but if you find it, please let me know.

BTW, I do use the peroxide mixed with water to water seedlings too. It keeps them from becoming waterlogged.
Be sure to water your seedlings from the bottom till they are established. Good luck!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

SoFlaCommercial - That was probably me that wrote about liquid kelp. I purchase it from here:

I purchase fish fertilizer from here:

Elk City, ID(Zone 4a)

I not only soak my pea and beans,but I spout them. This is good for short growing seasons or wet springs to keep them from rotting.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Last year I tried growing peas under lights in small 3 oz pots. They transplanted well, and grew a good harvest. I also dug up some errant peas and moved them to another spot and they grew, too.

Canterbury, CT

I soak and pre-sprout my peas. This has worked great for me. No rotting in the cold spring. I've even had my garden beds re-freeze on top and my peas still came up when the soil warmed with no problems. This has been such a reliable method for me that I doubt I'll ever go back.

Bark River, MI

I soak and pre-sprout my beans and peas as well - but you have to be sure to get them planted before the sprouts get too big (voice of experience!).

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

How big is "too big?"

Canterbury, CT

I've been a bit delayed getting my pea sprouts planted and have had them as long as .5". It greatly increases the chance that they could be damaged (I sprout mine in a large canning jar and you need to rinse the seed twice daily. I sprout a lot of seed and swishing lots of seed with long sprouts in a jar isn't always the best thing for them, even when trying to be very careful). As long as they don't get damaged, there's no problem. Keep in mind, just a one day delay in getting them planted can lead to some pretty long sprouts.


SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Uh, I put some Kentucky Wonder pole beans in a yogurt cup with a couple drops of Hydrogen Peroxide last night. Seven seeds sank, seven seeds floated. I think the floaties are not viable, right?

I'm new at doing peas and beans (which I truly LOVE), so any advice ya'll can share here would be very appreciated. I will probably plant the beans in my 6.5 gallon buckets with a teepee trellis over them. Only four pole bean, and four butter bean plants will be grown. I have Southern peas (beans), which I'll start sometime in mid-April, since they love the heat.

Will still need ya'lls guidance.


Bark River, MI

Quote from Gymgirl :
How big is "too big?"

As Donna said, as they get bigger it's hard to plant without damaging them. I've had the best luck with planting when the root sprout was only 1 to 1-1/2 inches long. Actually, I've had the REALLY best luck by taking those sprouted seeds and starting them in large (1-1/2") cell packs or small pots and then planting out once the tops were a couple of inches high... otherwise it seems like every year something kills off a pretty large number of the young plants and I end up replanting.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

So, Weedwhacker,
I could plant those seeds in 8 oz. yogurt cups and let them grow on until the tops are about 3" tall? Then, I could lift the whole plug and set it out into my buckets? There'd be no damage to the plant that way...

That makes TOTAL sense to me!



P.S. The seeds will have been soaking for 48 hours by this evening. I prolly need to plant them tonight, huh? NOW I'm getting excited!

Bark River, MI

yep -- kind of a hassle with that extra step of growing in the pots, but I have been having much better success with the way they grow by doing that!

Since it's been a couple of weeks since your last post -- how are they doing by now?

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the goose! I moved the KY Wonder Pole Beans to the cool room Thursday night, and those seedlings are sure looking green and healthy. I noticed they have an interesting characteristic. When the lights are on, the leaves fan out so the light covers most of the leaf surfaces. When I turn out the lights, the leaves fold down (umbrella style), and I guess the plant goes to sleep!

It's fascinating to watch. Almost like what four 'o clocks do.

Well, this weekend is my drop dead, get-it-done-or-else-weekend. Taking an extra day (again!) since we're supposed to have FOUR gorgeous days ahead (wish I had taken Tuesday, too..)

I'll post pics of the beans. They're in drinking water bottles, and are approximately 4" tall. There's a long runner reaching overhead, looking for something to grab hold of. I'll try to plant them out this weekend, and fashion the bamboo teepees over each bucket. I have 10 seeds planted. Six are truly up, 2 are peeping, and 2 are sleeping. The bottles are filling up with roots, too.

My method will be to carefully cut away the bottom of the bottle, then slit the sides and lift the whole root ball out in a single motion, from bottle to planting hole.

Is there some amendment I should add to the planting hole, first? LMK.

Godspeed, and Good Harvest!


Jonesville, SC(Zone 7b)

beans: no
peas: no
okra: yes, or i sometimes freeze it overnight

If you plant and the seeds do not get any water on them for a long time, you may experience problems. That has been my experience. When possible I try to sow the seeds then water the seed beds afterwards unless rain is predicted within a day or so.

SE Houston (Hobby), TX(Zone 9a)

I'm new to growing beans and peas, so I guess I did it wrong. I soaked my beans in Hydrogen Peroxide, then planted them in yogurt cups and water bottles till they came up. My intent is to CAREFULLY (I heard they have sensitive roots...) transplant them into their final places in the hydroponic buckets, surrounded by a bamboo trellis...


Thumbnail by Gymgirl Thumbnail by Gymgirl
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

After reading how many of you pre-soak your pea seeds, I decided to try it myself. I soaked a package overnight on Wednesday, and sowed them this morning. The soil was nice and damp and it's supposed to rain over the weekend so I didn't water them in.

For the past few years I've had a problem with birds eating the peas as soon as they sprout - so I started thinking like a bird (tweet, tweet.) It occurred to me that seeds sown in February (which is when it's recommended that they be sown in our zone) are not eaten by the birds. But - if I wait until around the 7th of March they don't eat them.

So I looked around me and noticed that the trees begin to leaf-out around the first or second week of March. Hmmm.... I said to myself. I bet the birds peck at all those nice fresh new tree leaves and that's why they leave my peas alone in March.

I'll let you know if all this tweeting to myself has paid off. LOL

Hallowell, ME

I've always soaked my beans and peas and innoculated too. I am going to try the peroxide trick this year. I'm probably going to soak my squash seeds to. I don't know why but I have better luck sowing my cukes and squash seed rather than starting them inside and transplanting. They come up fast and in the past, caught up with transplants and passed them.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Frank65 - squash and cucumbers are tricky to transplant as they don't like their roots disturbed. I start mine indoors in individual 3oz Solo cups and get them into the garden before they become rootbound.

Irving, TX(Zone 8a)

HoneybeeNC how long to you keep your squash and cucumbers indoor?
I also need to start them indoor, because of pill bugs.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I'm going by melon seeds which are in the same family. Four weeks indoors from sowing seed to transplanting outdoors. I do harden off for a few days first.

Gotta go, daughter just called for us to go for an afternoon walk with the dogs.

Oak Island, NC(Zone 8a)

I like to soak peas and beans too. I prefer to soak over knicking because I'm always afraid I'm going to damage the baby plant inside if I do this.

Lake Charles, LA(Zone 9a)

y'know how its funny i would this forum after all my beans and peas i planned on growing are in the ground. but i know...and knowing is half the battle.

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