How to plant and care for the bean plants

Once you have purchased the red kidney bean seeds, select clean and uninjured seeds.

Wash the new (or used) container(s) with soap, then rinse with tap water. Rinse again with 10% household bleach (90 ml water plus 10 ml bleach).

Put on a disposable mask.

Place the perlite into the container and fill it 2 inches deep (use ruler) (Fig. 5).

Add 800 mL tap water to each container.

Figure 5. Measuring depth of perlite. Ruler with both metric and Imperial marks. Credit: M.E. Conley.

Figure 6. Container with bean seeds. View showing how the bean seeds should be placed on the perlite. Credit: M.E. Conley.

Sow nine (9) seeds per container (Fig. 6) by placing seeds on top of the perlite and lightly pressing them into the perlite. Put 3 beans equally spaced in 3 rows.

Set container(s) under bright light.

Days 0 -13

Every day - check water needs of container(s) by gently lifting the container.

    If the container is heavy, do not add water.

     Measure the depth of the water by sticking the etched tongue depressor-stick vertically to be sure the water level is at 1 inch or higher.

     Then decide if water is needed.                       

Starting Day 14, water with the fertilizer solution (fertigate) at a rate of 100 ppm N when needed (Table 1).

Starting Day 21, fertigate at a rate of 150 ppm N when needed (Table 1).

Take daily notes.

Take photos of observations and/or view using the stereoscopic microscope when changes occur such as:

  • initial sowing, and then as seeds develop in the container(s)
  • germination
  • unifoliate and trifoliate leaf development
  • vining or determinate growth, flower buds
  • flowering
  • pod development and number of seeds from pods