seeking pea and bean advice

TwinCitiesPanda

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Thought I would share, BUT this may not be accurate bc I once germinated 25yo tomato seeds, and I don't think that onion seeds are viable after one year. Still:
I got Walla Walla onion seeds last year that were free from someone on SSE because they were 2 years old. Germination was still very good. I still have some left and I'm gonna give them a go. I just wasn't happy with how tiny they ended up by the end of the season compared to those I got from starts/sets. Still better than no onions though!
 

Zeedman

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This might be more helpful:
Good info on that link. However - and I know this has been stated here before - those seed longevity charts are very conservative. Those numbers might be accurate for seed in paper envelopes, left on top of the fridge; but seed life can easily be extended beyond the years given, with fairly simple procedures. That is notably true for most beans & peas, which if properly dried & stored in cool dry conditions, can often have reasonably good germination even after 5-10 years. I usually don't get around to renewing a bean or pea for 5-7 years (and occasionally longer) and have not lost one yet... and that is at room temperature. Stored in a fridge or freezer, most seeds can remain viable for 10+ years or more.
 

flowerbug

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I got Walla Walla onion seeds last year that were free from someone on SSE because they were 2 years old. Germination was still very good. I still have some left and I'm gonna give them a go. I just wasn't happy with how tiny they ended up by the end of the season compared to those I got from starts/sets. Still better than no onions though!
did you direct sow them? or start them earlier and transplant as starts? i've grown onions from seeds direct sown a few times and they can be ok in size, but not huge. the largest onions we get are called Kelcey Giant onions and they are starts that we plant and those will get up to about 8 inches across at the largest.
 

TwinCitiesPanda

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did you direct sow them? or start them earlier and transplant as starts? i've grown onions from seeds direct sown a few times and they can be ok in size, but not huge. the largest onions we get are called Kelcey Giant onions and they are starts that we plant and those will get up to about 8 inches across at the largest.
I started them inside, but they were still quite small once it was time to put them out: 4” tall and skinny like a bar straw. The starts I got from a neighbor (from home depot originally) were about #2 pencil sized and did amazingly well. My starts ended up martini onion sized- hardly worth peeling.
 

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I store and have no problems with beet, sweet corn, peas, beans, and other seeds. Parsnips-or so I have been told-have to be fresh. Now second guessing that as I only recently learned that how to plant directions on package are 100% wrong.
 

flowerbug

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I started them inside, but they were still quite small once it was time to put them out: 4” tall and skinny like a bar straw. The starts I got from a neighbor (from home depot originally) were about #2 pencil sized and did amazingly well. My starts ended up martini onion sized- hardly worth peeling.
yeah, also matters a lot if they are planted too close or the soil isn't great, or they didn't get enough moisture (not a problem last year for sure), etc. since i don't grow onions from seeds much at all any more i don't have the wonder going on if i'm starting from a good seed or a bad seed. just put the starts right into the worms/worm castings that i use for fertilizer, put a little bit of dirt over that to make sure they're not exposed to the sun, tamp it down and water good and they're set to go.
 

Zeedman

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As far as the Limas getting a hot spot, the lattice I have up may be the perfect spot. I wonder if peas will be done in time to tear them out and replace with beans? By "shellies" do you mean eating them pod and all, or shelling and eating the bean fresh?
In our short summers, limas would not work for succession planting after peas. Although you plant the peas earlier, they would not be done in time to plant the limas... and any delay in planting the limas would probably result in failure. You could, however, plant a row of peas & leave spaces for the limas. Pole limas have rampant vines & need wide spacing; I use a minimum of 24" between plants. This would allow you to plant the limas while the peas were still bearing; and when the peas were done, the limas would quickly fill in the gaps on the trellis. Lima transplants would work best for this strategy.

Shellies are beans that are fully grown, but shelled out & cooked before they are dry. Technically, green peas & edamame soybeans are shellies. Most Phaseolus beans (limas, runner beans, and common beans) can be eaten as shellies, but they must be cooked first - which destroys toxins present in the raw seeds. Those shellies can be blanched & frozen, I usually freeze some of each species for use in the winter.
 

Zeedman

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I started them inside, but they were still quite small once it was time to put them out: 4” tall and skinny like a bar straw. The starts I got from a neighbor (from home depot originally) were about #2 pencil sized and did amazingly well. My starts ended up martini onion sized- hardly worth peeling.
A little off topic, but...

Onions started from seed grow slowly, and need to be started very early, well before most other vegetables - in our climate, February or early March at the latest. They also need a strong light source, or they will become leggy & need several "hair cuts", which weakens the plants. Fortunately, the seedlings will take light frosts, so they could be set outside in the sunlight right about now, and taken in or given protection if colder nights were expected.
 

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