Bean There


Sow the seeds of a lifelong love for nature by introducing your sprouts to these playful and rewarding projects with plants.

Germinating beans with cotton wool, water and a bit of sunshine is a classic project for budding horticulturalists. It’s an especially appealing activity for younger children thanks to how quickly the bean grows.



You will need

Dried beans (broad beans, sugar beans and butter beans will all work well)

Cotton wool

A glass container

A sunny windowsill



Place a layer of cotton wool in the bottom of a small Mason jar or other clear glass container such as an old jam or mustard jar.

Slip your dried beans in on the sides so that kids can have a clear view of the day-to-day changes.

Place another thin layer of cotton wool on top of the beans and gently press down.

Wet – but do not soak – the cotton wool.

Place on a sunny windowsill and wait for the magic to happen. The beans should start to germinate after about three days.



Water the cotton as and when it feels dry to the touch.

When the sprouts are around 20cm tall they can be transferred, cotton wool included, to a planter or into the ground.

Beans love to climb: support them on a beanpole, trellis or bamboo or wooden frames.

Look out for the Starke Ayres kid zone at this year’s Autumn Garden Show! 

TEXT Mandy Allen/Bureaux PRODUCTION Jeanne Botes PHOTOGRAPHS Warren Heath/Bureaux. www.bureaux.co.za