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Dry Bean Seeding

Dry beans should not be seeded until the likelihood of frost has passed. If soil moisture is too low to initiate germination of this large-seeded crop, an irrigation prior to seeding followed by a light tillage operation is strongly recommended.

Irrigating after seeding often reduces soil temperature below that required for bean germination; this low temperature may increase both the incidence of fungal diseases of the root system and the chance of damage to the seed (and germinating seedling) by insects.

Row Spacings

Dry bean is generally grown as a row crop. Space rows so that cultivation and harvesting equipment can be used efficiently. Row spacings vary from 22 to 30 inches (56–76 cm), with 24 inches (61 cm) being most common. Narrow row crops should produce higher yields, but high disease pressure (particularly white mold) and higher harvest losses can result in lower yields compared to wide row crops.

Solid seeded bean is normally planted in 7-inch (17.5 cm) rows with either a conventional grain drill or air seeder. This type of seeding system requires much higher seeding rates, and care is needed to obtain a uniform seeding depth and to minimize seed damage.

Plant bean rows in the direction of the prevailing winds to maintain a drier soil surface, which will help suppress white mold.

  • Seed Depth: 1–2 inches (2.5–5 cm)
  • Soil Temperature: 18˚ C
  • Seeding Dates: May 20 to May 25
  • Seeding Rates: 25–45 plants per square metre 
  • 1,000 Kernel Rate: 200–350
  • Seeds Per Pound: 1,300–2,300

The Government of Alberta’s Seeding Rate Calculator can help you determine the proper dry bean seeding rate. To ensure the best results, use seed with both high germination and vigour.

For uniform seed drop when seeding dry bean, vacuum or air precision planters tend to be most accurate, but plate and peanut bottom planters also work well. Because bean is fragile, regular drills or air seeders can cause damage and do not always provide accurate seed drop.