We have been having pea shooter wars, will our ammo sprout?

A:

Thanks for your bean question. Unlike grass seeds (and many others that size), beans don't germinate when left on top of the soil. They need to be 1 to 2 inches below ground level, to get adequate moisture for the seed to germinate. In the temps we're having, they're more likely to shrivel up than grow. However, if you have wild or domestic burying helpers (such as dogs and squirrels), they may be planted without your permission. If you keep an eye out, though, you'll see the runners. They're easy to pull. And, while you least expect it, they (being legumes) are helping bring nitrogen to the plants you want there. In fact, some legumes (fava beans, red clover, etc.) are used as cover crops to protect the soil from rain compressing it in the winter and nourish it. Free service!  

Was this page helpful?

Related Content from OSU Extension

Ask an Expert

Have a Question? Ask an Expert!

Ask an Expert is a way for you to get answers from the Oregon State University Extension Service. We have experts in family and health, community development, food and agriculture, coastal issues, forestry, programs for young people, and gardening.

Ask Us a Question