My fall beans are coming in now, but back a month or two ago I let some of my summer beans stay on the vines until they dried up. My intent was to save the seeds and plant them next year, saving myself a few bucks in seed costs. And since the variety, Soleil French Filet, is an open-pollinated variety, I knew at the very least that the seeds would breed true (using the seeds of hybrids can give weird results, they say).
The problem is that the bean seeds I saved are looking kind of sad. Here they are on the right, compared with some extra seed-packet seeds on the left:
If I plant my runty saved seeds, are the resulting plants going to be runty as well? The seed contains nutrients that feed the sprout before it can absorb nutrients from the soil on its own, so I wonder how much a somewhat diminished nutrient packet would stunt early growth. Hmm… Maybe I’ll do an experiment next year and do one row with the saved seeds and one row with a new packet.