Caring for your bean seed


Dear Families,

Today your child had the opportunity to plant a bean seed (Dragon’s Tongue variety) in a pot to bring home and to care for as part of our Kindergarten Incursion Program. Extending today’s learning at home is going to be a great opportunity to reinforce and share in your child’s learning and understanding of edible plants. Here are some tips for you to consider when caring for your child’s new bean seed.

Germinating the bean seed

The children have only given the soil a light misting of water today when planting the seed (to avoid any mess during transport home). This light watering will need to be followed up with a more generous watering when you get the pot home. Please make sure that the soil in the pot remains moist, but not waterlogged and keep it in a warm, sunny position, such as on a window sill. The seed should germinate within 7 to 10 days.

Transplanting into the garden

Once the seed has germinated and appears 4 to 6cm tall, we suggest that you and your child transplant it into the garden. If you do not have any suitable garden space, consider transplanting the seedling into a larger pot.

To transplant the seedling, dig a small hole in the garden and place the entire pot into the ground, filling in the soil around it. Make sure the top of the pot is just covered with soil. Water the plant in very thoroughly at this time. The pot will break down in the soil over the coming weeks.

Beans prefer a sheltered spot in full sun. This variety (Dragon’s Tongue) will only grow to about 70cm high. It is a bush bean, so doesn’t require a trellis. However, it will still climb any nearby structures or plants. One plant will produce a handful of beans, so consider sowing more seeds directly into the garden to increase your crop. You can buy bean seeds from most plant nurseries and larger hardware stores.

Harvesting your beans

The plant should start to flower and produce pods 8 to 12 weeks after germination. Pick the pods when beans have filled out the pods. Alternatively you can allow the pods to dry on the plant. When the pods have shriveled and dried you can pod the dried beans and use them in soups or store them to plant again next spring.

Picking and podding the dried beans is a great activity for the children and helps them to connect the cycle between planting seeds, growing the plant and harvesting fresh seeds for next season. You could discuss with your child the similarity between the bean seed that they originally planted, and the beans that they are now removing from the pods.

For further information on edible gardening and the services that we provide, please take a look around our website

We love to hear how your plants are growing. So please share photos and updates about your plant’s progress via our Facebook page or email.

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Happy Gardening!