Sometime you may find yourself with some seeds that are well out of date but you may still want to try and grow them either because they are rare, scarce or of unknown origin
When it come to Peas or beans one of the ways to get the best germination and also avoid lots of wasted compost or space on a propagating bench is to pre-germinate then before sowing
Take your seeds and in a container cover them with luck warm water and leave somewhere like the kitchen for 12 hours during which time the outside coating of the seed will soften and allow moisture to enter swelling the seed which encourages the seed to germinate. Any that don’t discard at this point
Drain the seeds and place a piece moisture retentive cloth like that has been dampened but is not soaking wet into the bottom of a plastic container.
Place lid on the container and keep at around 75 degrees as we want to achieve quick germination and peas are affect quite a lot by temperature
Germination temperature for peas : 40 F to 85 F – Days to emergence: 9 to 13 –
Optimum around 75 F.
9 days when soil is 60 F.
13 days at 50 F.
It may take as long as 4 to 5 weeks at 40 F.
As soon as the peas show the first emerging shoot carefully pick them out of the container and place them into short root trainers pots of Multipurpose compost roughly 2cms deep and cover with more compost.
When the peas emerge grow them on in a cold frame till around 5cms high when they can be planted out into a growing bed.
It might seen an odd thing to film but there are reasons for clearing your Beans and Peas in a particular way as they can still help your garden to be productive after they have finished producing there own crop
Broad Beans are one of the most useful crops we can grow, they fill a gap in the garden over winter when little else is growing and the beans germinate at lower temperatures than even grass starts to grow at in spring. This means that we can plant them as early as February and continue to start them off and plant them right up until May, this method gives us a continuance of cropping.
One of the other great things about growing broad beans is like all legumes they fix nitrogen into the soil and this allows us to increase the soil fertility for a follow-on crop which makes them perfect to sow in a bed before nitrogen hungry summer crops.