Am I planting my green beans too deep?

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John W_in_Indy

New Member
Hello everyone....

This is my first garden since I was a kid living at home (and that was a LONG time ago ;)). It's just a small one with four tomato plants, a half dozen various pepper plants and some yellow onions. I decided to also plant some bush type Blue Lake green beans from seed as well.

I planted my first row of beans the last week of April when my tomatoes and peppers went in. We proceeded to have two weeks of chilly/wet weather with some very cool nights (go figure :rolleyes:). So, when only four out of the twelve (or so) seeds actually germinated.... I wasn't surprised. Out of the four seedlings that germinated, only two actually developed into what looks to be a viable plant. The others turned brown at the top and I pulled them.

My second row of beans (again, 12 or so seeds) went in a couple of weeks ago and even though it's been a little wetter than normal (still) here in Indy, the temps have generally warmed up to normal levels with a few days well into the 80's. But, same thing.... only five of the dozen seeds germinated with once again, only two viable plants that I can see in this batch.

I discarded that pack of seeds (Livingston Seed brand that I bought fresh this year and had a 2009 date on them) and bought a new one (Burpee brand this time) and just planted them yesterday. My soil is very good and I augmented it with peat moss, composted cow manure and organic top soil. Everywhere I dig there are tons of earthworms (a good thing right?) and the soil is nice and soft and very easy to work. I trench my rows about three inches deep, add a little organic fertilizer (Garden Tone), cover the fertilizer with about an inch of soil, plant the seeds and then cover and lightly pack with a couple inches of soil. Finishing everything up with a good watering.

Do you think I got a bad batch of seeds or am I planting the beans too deep (I see where an inch is the recommended now that I check "after" the fact)? Or am I possibly doing something else wrong? Three or four of the plants that did germinate, had deformed leaves with holes in them upon first opening.

Any ideas??? :confused:

Thanks in advance. :)
 

gonepostal

New Member
Well John--------I'm definately no expert----but that is a bit deep. The seeds may be rotting before they can reach the top. Of course a lot has to do with temp of the soil and moisture. Have you had a lot of rain?
Not sure about the first brand of seed , but Burpee is usually pretty reliable.
Also not sure about fertlizer-------may be too close and burning the roots?Although where you water it right after you plant the seeds-that should dilute most of it. I usually dont fertilize until after the plants are up some. But then-everyone does things diferently.:)
As you can tell---I'm not much help. But I'm sure someone here will be able to help you soon.

And welcome-------there's a great bunch of knowlagable people here (excluding me! lol) and they're always willing to help. So hang in there-we'll solve this problem soon!:D
 
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Gloria

Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi John and welcome. I agree with G-postal, possibly planted seeds too deep and fertilizer should be worked into the soil around the plants or seeds. I cover bean and pea seeds with about 1 inch of soil. Tiny seeds such as tomato seeds is barely covered. If planting a row, I work (actually till) fertilizer into the entire row.
Too much water can rot seeds and plants. Have you tried starting your seeds in trays or pots and then transplanting once the soil dries a bit?
Ground temperature has a lot to do with germination too. Seeds won't germinate till they have a warm bed to wake up in.
I guess I'm not much help but don't give up..gardening is so rewarding and we all had to start somewhere. I learned a lot from experimenting, trial and era. No matter how many years I've planted a garden, I learn new tricks with every garden I plant. Good luck to ya.
 

IronKnees

New Member
Hi John and welcome from you neighbor in Frankfort, IN. Two inches is a bit deep... If you have to plant again I would opt for about one inch... The other thing to remember is that it's best to augment your soil, IE till in mulch, leaves, etc., etc. in the fall... If there is too much composting or decomposition going on in your soil at planting time, the bacteria that is creating the compost will also decompose your seeds as well... Since we only live about 40 miles apart, and we both know exactly how our weather is now, I would say you should have good success... Also, if you have bunnies, you may want to consider using any sort of bug dust while the little seedlings are small... Once they have about their second set of true leaves, the rabbits will leave them alone, but they will eat all your plants in one night if not protected... Dave
 

John W_in_Indy

New Member
Hi John and welcome from you neighbor in Frankfort, IN. Two inches is a bit deep... If you have to plant again I would opt for about one inch... The other thing to remember is that it's best to augment your soil, IE till in mulch, leaves, etc., etc. in the fall... If there is too much composting or decomposition going on in your soil at planting time, the bacteria that is creating the compost will also decompose your seeds as well... Since we only live about 40 miles apart, and we both know exactly how our weather is now, I would say you should have good success... Also, if you have bunnies, you may want to consider using any sort of bug dust while the little seedlings are small... Once they have about their second set of true leaves, the rabbits will leave them alone, but they will eat all your plants in one night if not protected... Dave
Man.... I didn't even THINK of that. Although, the manure I added was already "composted" in that it was called "Composted Cow Manure." So, shouldn't that have been OK to work into the soil prior to planting? I've even used the peat/composted manure/organic top soil blend to top dress my onions and tomatoes a couple of times since planting.

As for the fall, well.... I didn't even consider the garden until the last minute this spring. So, no fore thought on pre treating the bed. But, I CAN see where any decomposition activity "could" be going after the seeds as well. ESPECIALLY with as wet as it's been recently. Coupled with the fact that I'm learning that ~2" is too deep for the beans.

I may just go ahead and replant this last planting and go an inch deep, then thin out and transplant if needed after they sprout. Seems like a plan.

Thanks for the warm welcome ladies and gents. Friendly forums are a fun place to "hang out."

:cool:

EDIT: My 90# Chocolate Lab has the "Bunny Patrol" (not to mention squirrels, birds etc.)well in hand. We used to have zillions of them than lived under the shed. But, since we got him, they've moved and didn't even do us the courtesy of leaving a forwarding address. :rolleyes:
 
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John W_in_Indy

New Member
And, as a follow up.... I'm doing my part in the whole going GREEN thing and doing this totally organic. The fertilizer is organic: http://www.espoma.com/p_consumer/tones_overview.html so that shouldn't be a problem. And, no dusting with pesticides at all for this garden. If I end up with any "bugs," I'll use the formula that Dr. Dirt (Richard Crum - formerly of WIBC on Saturday Mornings) recommends. It's made up of household ingredients including a couple of drops of dish soap.

I may be out of my mind, but I think I'm even going to start making my own compost. We have PLENTY of leaves come fall and when I think of all the stuff that gets thrown into the trash on a daily basis that could go toward a nice rich home made compost (coffee grounds, fresh vegetable trimmings, un-eated left-overs, grass trimmings, dead leaves etc.) I figured, I might as well huh?

So, we shall see. This is going to be a fun time I hope.... :)
 

IronKnees

New Member
If you keep having problems, dampen your seeds just before planting and dust them with Captan or other fungicide powder... That will get them going... Also, rather than rose dust on those tender shoots you can mix fine powdered pepper or something similar with water and spray that on them... One taste of that and there will be no more problems... Dave
 


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