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Q: Having just dug over the garden and pulled down the remains of my runner beans I have a handful of bean pods. I would say most of them are fully ripe. How do I look after them during the winter to keep them and use them next spring? I have both scarlet runners and blue lake pole beans. —Bill
Simply allow your beans to dry well on a paper towel and then store them in a cool, dark place in a jar or paper bag with a silica gel pack desiccant to protect them from moisture.
I store most of my seeds in Tupperware celery savers, which come with a bottom grid to prevent their contents from sitting on moisture. Below the grid, I pour in a layer of powdered milk to absorb any condensation and toss in silica gel pack desiccants found in new bottles of vitamins. The seeds are then stored in the fridge or a cold basement.
Come spring, your beans will be ready for planting!