Should I Soak Beans Before Planting?

Are you planning to plant beans in your garden? Then you may have heard about farmers and gardeners who recommend that you dip bean seeds in water for a certain period before you plant them. It is said that the grains would germinate quicker when previously submerged, while others disagree.

This may leave you wondering: Should I soak beans before planting? Read on to find out!

should i soak beans before planting

Should I Soak Beans Before Planting?

If you are wondering whether or not soaking beans are good for your plants, the answer is YES. It’s best to soak the bean seeds for about 10-24 hours in water before you plant them.


When you soak bean seeds in water, it helps seeds sprout, reducing germination time. As a result, your plants can grow quicker and healthier. In fact, it is recommended by the Iowa State University Extension and National Gardening Association, as the seeds have hard coats.

That said, make sure that you soak the bean seeds properly. If you soak them for over 24 hours, this can cause seed rot, which will make them unusable.

Others would advise that you do NOT soak the bean seeds. This is also okay to do, though you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons. There are different factors to consider, such as why you planted the bean seeds, how fast you’d like it to grow, and the harvest you expect to get from it.

Things to Remember

Make sure that you plant your beans after the frost, as they are very sensitive to low temperatures. Beans require warm, moist, and well-drained soil so they can germinate well. Also, they have shallow root systems, so they need careful and frequent cultivation.

When planted in hot water or moist soil, the seed coat will soften, and the interior begins to swell. The roots will grow first as it pushes through the coat. After the stem and leaves push above ground, their leaves will unfold quickly. If potting seedlings, soak the bots before you plant them, so they decompose fast.

Furthermore, take note that bean seeds that will be directly sown in the garden might not germinate, especially when you have cool and moist soil. They require both heat and moisture.

If soil is too cold, your seeds end up rotting in the ground before even sprouting. Soaking the seeds before you sow them can soften the seed’s outer shell, speeding up germination.

Normally, bean seeds can take up to two weeks until they have germinated. If they were soaked, then it would take only 3-4 days!

Read more: What You Should Know about Nitrogen Deficiency In Green Beans

Tips to Soak Bean Seeds

If you are interested in soaking bean seeds, here are some tips to follow:

  • Seeds require oxygen for them to germinate, so they don’t germinate while in water. Make sure to remove the grains before you sow them.
  • You can soak bean seeds in a jar with a plastic screen or cheesecloth over the mouth, filling it with an adequate amount of water. While the beans are soaking, place them in a dark area.
  • Soak the seeds in hot water, which can soften the coating further, allowing it to germinate quicker.
  • When soaking before you plant bean seeds, mix them with about 1/3 to 2/3 jarful of water. Do NOT use too much, as beans can only absorb certain amounts.
  • You can let your beans soak overnight, as long as the water isn’t over 60-100 degrees Fahrenheit. If it is too hot, then the beans end up cooking!
  • Stir the beans periodically to ensure that they’re evenly moist.
  • After soaking your seeds, sow them right after and space them 4 inches apart and around 2 inches deep. The rows should be 12-14 inches away. If your garden soil is poor quality, inoculate your bean seeds with a small amount of inoculant, being careful as you stir the seeds to prevent damage.
  • Do NOT have your beans sprout in the water as the roots will end up being susceptible to damage. Planting sprouted seeds would do more harm than good to the plant.

If you choose NOT to soak, then plant them 1 inch deep into your soil, and water them copiously afterward. Also, follow the right tips on growing your bean seeds by using well-drained soil that retains moisture without waterlogging, as this would encourage germination.

Wrapping It Up

When it comes to planting bean seeds, you’ll be glad to know that you CAN soak your beans overnight, and it is encouraged to do so. As long as you do it correctly and care for the beans once planted, you can enjoy germinated seeds that will sprout in your garden in no time.

Hope this short guide on soaking bean seeds helped you out! Follow these tips for your next bean seeds now and enjoy your growing garden!

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