I’ve read on some reputable blogs that beans shouldn’t be started inside because they don’t like their roots to be disturbed. With respect, I have been doing it for years. I have problems with critters, and should also probably credit my cool soil with part of the problem. Beans wouldn’t germinate, or maybe disappear from the soil before they had a chance. And those that did come up would get chewed leaves or completely defoliated before they had a chance to get established. So, not knowing that it wouldn’t work, I planted Emerite beans in my 2″ soil cubes several years ago. I had such good success that this has become my regular habit. They don’t need heat or lights. I start them at the same time I would plant seed in the ground and keep them on my deck. It only takes a couple of weeks; one for them to germinate and another for them to develop true leaves.
When I was planting them this year, I was wondering if knowing that it wasn’t supposed to work would jinx this process. There were wads of roots at the bottom of the flat that I had to disturb to separate the plants. They looked a little wilty right after I planted and I thought Oh, oh. But when I came home from work they had already aclimated and look fine.
Now I just need to protect them from the deer that have found my garden (reason for the propped empty trays) and get them started up the mesh that I use for a trellis, before they find the nearby tomato cages. Yes, I often pick beans from tomato plants at the end of the season.
So I think the life lesson in this is that it’s all about what works for you. When you find a plant or technique that gives you success, trust it. No two gardens are the same and even in the same family, say beans, plants differ in what they like or will tolerate. I would have given up on beans with my early results. Especially when all you have to lose is an inexpensive package of seed, keep trying; dare to break the rules.