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I grew some green pole beans (variety unknown) this year from commercial seed, and I'd like to harvest some seeds from the plants to regrow for next year.

How do I do this?

I tried just picking some beans, pulling the seeds out of the pod, and starting them in a wet paper towel in a baggie in the window, which is the same way we started the commercial bean seeds. They just rotted.

Do they need to grow longer than for eating, and if so, how do I know when they are ready? Is there any treatment or preparations required before planting?

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Yes, you need to leave them on the plant longer. We eat green beans when they are still immature. To harvest for seed, leave the pods on the plant until they are dry and brittle. You can then crack the seed pods open to get the seeds out. Store them in a cool, dry place til next planting season. If possible, pull the seeds from at least 5-7 different plants, so you maintain genetic diversity.

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  • Green beans are just like any other bean, we just eat them before they are ripe. Just like summer squashes and cucumbers. You don't want to eat them after they've ripened. Yuck!!! – Escoce Sep 23 '15 at 21:46

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