How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

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How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#1

Post: # 24088Unread post Bronx
Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:57 pm

For the 2019 season I bought a bag of Fortex seeds and the germination rate was pretty good. This year, however, I planted 20 seeds from the same batch and none of them germinated. Was so disappointed. Luckily last year I let a couple beans dry out on the vine and saved them for seeds. After my failure I planted 10 of those seeds and 6 came up so I'm not going to be totally without beans this year.

I really like Fortex and want to grow them every year. Is it best that I save seeds for the next season's crop every year and just discard the leftovers? I would have thought seed would last more than 1 year. I keep them in a ziplock bag in the fridge along with corn, squash and snow pea seeds and haven't had this problem with anything other than the Fortex. I soak the seeds over night before planting, if that makes a difference.
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#2

Post: # 24123Unread post Labradors
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:58 am

Sorry that I can't help with your question. I'd have thought that the beans would last for more than a year, but maybe they were old when you received them. I always save beans for the following year, but I often germinate the old ones and they are just fine.

I grew Fortex for the first time last year and really liked them. I remember that they were really slow to appear last year and I had to sow several extras. This year they all came up. Mind you, it can be a struggle in my garden. I'm not sure if it's cut worms or birds that "interfere" with them.....

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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#3

Post: # 24126Unread post MissS
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:05 pm

I always plant all of my seeds but I did do an internet search on the matter and if they are kept very dry and cool, they can survive for up to 3 years. Most places though say just one year.
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#4

Post: # 24129Unread post ddsack
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:46 pm

I grow Fortex every year, usually from saved seeds. The last couple of years my beans seemed not as vigorous as before, though they produced enough to eat and freeze. This spring, I decided to skip the newer seeds and go back and use bean seed from an old batch ( at least 5?+ years) from a year that I got enough perfect dry beans in quantities to even consider cooking with them. I got near 100% germination with these older seeds this year, had to water since we have had very little rain. I wonder if the quality of seed may vary depending on of health of pods and drying down conditions. Some years my bean seed just does not look as plump and healthy when dry. I keep my bean seed in a plastic container with a lid in my basement, which is usually around 68-72F year round. I think most sources say 3 years for bean seeds.
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#5

Post: # 24161Unread post Bower
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:46 pm

I got some advice about peas this year, that it's best not to eat and save seed from the same plant, instead let your seed plants do that. I wonder if it's the same for beans? I definitely had a poorer quality of pea seed from last year, which I blamed on being late and maybe not fully dried. But they were smaller overall as well, and maybe because I was eating as many peas as I could get after waiting so long. :oops:
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#6

Post: # 24167Unread post kath
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:21 pm

I don't grow Fortex anymore and don't save bean seeds for resowing but I've had packets of pole and bush beans be viable for at least 5 years. Usually I keep them in the fridge in a metal container, most often inside the original paper packets but sometimes in plastic baggies or in glass jars if I've ordered a lot of one variety. That said, I ordered a new bean to try this year and had 0 germination from 3 different sowings. :(
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#7

Post: # 24172Unread post pondgardner
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:40 pm

Bower wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:46 pm
I got some advice about peas this year, that it's best not to eat and save seed from the same plant, instead let your seed plants do that. I wonder if it's the same for beans? I definitely had a poorer quality of pea seed from last year, which I blamed on being late and maybe not fully dried. But they were smaller overall as well, and maybe because I was eating as many peas as I could get after waiting so long. :oops:
That is an interesting theory...might be worth a trial on one of the more vigorous growing vines in my garden.
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#8

Post: # 24588Unread post Bronx
Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:58 am

Thanks everybody for your replies. I grow my beans in an Earthbox so I haven't had cutworm problems, but I have had slug problems. When the seedlings come up the slugs will crawl into the boxes eat them. What I've done to combat this is put a strip of 2" copper tape around the top lip of the Earthbox and that has really helped to keep the slugs from getting in the boxes.

Bower, I'm not sure what you mean by don't eat and save seed from the same plant. How do the pods that are saved for seeds know you're eating their siblings?
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#9

Post: # 24635Unread post MissS
Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:41 pm

@Bronx What I think that Bower means is that you ought not harvest any early ripened beans rather allow all of the beans of one plant to mature for seed harvest. When you pick fruits early you are forcing the plant produce more seed. The theory is that seed set later in the season will not produce viable seed as well as those set earlier. If you harvest all the early pods then what is left does not mature properly.
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Re: How Long Should Fortex Seeds Last?

#10

Post: # 24652Unread post WoodSprite
Tue Jul 07, 2020 12:45 am

Not Fortex but I'm growing other types of beans this year and had very poor germination for most of them, even the newly purchased seeds. I sowed them on June 8 in 3 newly installed raised beds and 1 previously installed raised bed. The soil was adequately warm for beans. I soaked the seeds for several hours to rehydrate them and used inoculant.

Henderson's Lima Bean (saved seeds from 2017) - first to germinate, 12 of 25 seeds germinated.

Black Turtle Black Bean (purchased this year) - second to germinate, 25 of 50 seeds.

Rattlesnake Pole Bean (purchased in 2011) - 9 of 12 seeds germinated.

Karikachi Soy Bean (purchased this year) - 1 of 50 seeds germinated. Sowed again on 6/19 and 11 of 27 seeds germinated. (12 of 77 seeds total germination.)

Blue Lake 274 Bush Bean (purchased this year) - 1 of 25 seeds germinated. Sowed again on 6/19 and 3 of 53 seeds germinated. (4 of 78 seeds total germination.)

And to top that off, all varieties have brown, crispy sections on the leaves. I think it's some sort of bacterial wilt but not sure since I've never had problems growing beans before.
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