How to care for runner bean seeds over the winter

Credit: iStock / Vandervelden


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!