If first sowing comes up unevenly, replant right away; new seedlings catch up quickly. Bean seedlings are tempting treats to birds; watch carefully and protect with netting if necessary.
HARVEST AND USE
When the beans are hard and smooth inside dry and leathery pods, harvest the whole crop at once, or, if frost or excessive rain threatens, pull entire plants and finish drying in a sheltered spot. Shell out the completely dry beans by hand or put whole pods in a pillowcase and whack it on the ground to “spill the beans” from pods. Put cleaned, shelled beans in freezer for 3 to 4 days to eliminate any insects, then store in glass jars in a cool dry place.
Note: freshly grown dry beans will cook faster than store bought ones. Soak overnight first, then cook up with a bay leaf, garlic and savory herbs.