Do you love to plant your own open pollinated beans but hate having to buy new packets of seed every year? The good news is that you can save your open pollinated bean seeds and it is easy too. The one requirement is to make sure that your beans are open pollinated otherwise your seeds won't produce true to the plant you saved them from.
First you need to have planted your beans. Then use a piece of string or waterproof tape to mark the ones that are the healthiest and most productive. The plants you have marked will be the ones you will be saving the seed from. Ensure that you do not pick the bean pods off of the plants that you have marked.
Once the pods start to mature on your marked plants the pods will get larger and start to dry out. It is best to leave the pods on the plants to dry if possible but if they start to mold then remove them.
The next step is the shell the pods. Break open the pods and scrape the seeds out with your finger. Pour the shelled beans onto a tray to dry until they are hard. This could take a week or longer depending on the humidity level in your area. Make sure that you wait until the shelled beans are fully dried and hard before you store them. To tell if the seeds are fully dried press your nail into a bean and if it does not put a dent in it then it is fully dry.
Once your seeds are dry pour them into a container that you want to use to store them. Make sure to write on the container the type of plant and the year that you saved the seed. Store your container in a dry, dark, and cool place to help prolong the life of your seeds.
When you are ready to plant the next year take out your saved seeds and plant them in the ground the same way you would with store bought seeds.