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Post by Chilli-head on 16th April 2012, 1:05 pm

In the rather vague and nebulous manner of school homework these days, C-H Jnr had to do "something about plants".

I suggested the classic bean germination experiment; we took a glass jar, put a sheet of rolled up blotting paper inside (well, card and kitchen towel because we didn't have any actual blotting paper), and push a bean seed between the glass and the paper. Add water, then watch how it grows.

To add a bit of variety, I suggested putting one scar up, one scar side down (by scar, I mean the mark where it was attached to the pod), to see the difference. And what a difference it made ! The scar side down seed had a ~6cm shoot and ~10cm of root, whereas the scar up one was still trying to sort itself out with just 3cm of root and the shoot barely out of the seed case. Now I know this is scarcely a rigorous trial, but it was pretty clear - for best results sow your beans scar side down !
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Post by polgara on 16th April 2012, 3:04 pm

Good thing to know. Thanks.

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Post by Dandelion on 16th April 2012, 3:59 pm

Must remember that for next year (so next year I'll start a thread entitled 'Was it scar up or scar down?')

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Post by freebird on 16th April 2012, 7:01 pm

Oooh, that's handy. I've still got another batch of broad beans to sow, and french beans and runner beans. Scars down from now on.
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Post by Dandelion on 16th April 2012, 11:01 pm

That's a thought - presumably the same holds true for other kinds of beans? (I've just planted a packet of Mr Fearn's Purple Podded climbing french beans from the Heritage Seed Library- the seeds are gorgeous; very small, shiny and black, like little beetles. It would have been difficult to place them any particular way up as they slipped between my fingers into the soil! But will try it with runners.)
NB - I've decided not to grow any other beans apart from those french beans and some runners - I don't think the beans can cross-pollinate so I may have some of the purple podded beans for next year's seed swap.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 17th April 2012, 8:46 am

That broad beans grow best if sown scar down is fairly often said, I wanted to see it myself. I am told (by an old boy on Kitchen Garden forum) that the same applies to other beans. I only worry about it for the larger seeds though.
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Post by Dandelion on 17th April 2012, 12:26 pm

Right - label written with 'scar side down' and attached to tin of seeds. If it isn't written down I can't remember it (it doesn't bode well for old age...)

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by freebird on 17th April 2012, 1:18 pm

I am intrigued now - I started a dozen broad beans last month, and although all germinated, I thought at first that three of them weren't going to. They emerged quite a bit later than the others. I am wondering if I had sown them scar up. As they are the plants I recently put in the garden, I'm not going to dig them up again to check - unless the foxes do it for me!
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