Vacuum Cleaner Beans: An Experiment in Early Planting

I planted my purple royalty beans in early April, as they don’t too much mind cold soil.

This makes the pillbug and slugs happy. So I plant a few extra, to survive all the night-time nibbling. They’re coming along.

Such early planting doesn’t work for other beans. The seeds, as you no doubt know, rot away. What I really want to show you today, though, is a little experiment.

Pretty cool, eh! The hardware store had a sale on these built-in-vacuum fittings, marked down from $6 each to $.28 each, so I grabbed the whole box, on the hunch that because beans only sprout in warm soil, any soil in these would warm up during the day, stay dry and drain well. Maybe, I thought, they’d sprout early. They did. These are Roma beans. To test the theory, I planted other beans between these tubes, to compare. Take another look, you can see three of them:

So, that’s quite a positive difference! 3 of the ones planted in the soil (about 15%) and 90% of the ones in the tubes (half are shown in the image above). I’m working on the hunch that beans send down a strong taproot, which can access water in the soil below, and, thus, that the tubes will not provide any serious constriction on the plants. As long as they don’t fall over, that is! That I will keep an eye out for.

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