How Does Your Garden Grow? A Library Lab Online: Seeds Update

How Does Your Garden Grow? A Library Lab Online: Seeds Update

How Does Your Garden Grow? A Library Lab Online: Seeds Update

Sometimes in life–and in science–you learn more from failure than success. That’s what happened with the green bean plants that we grew after one of our virtual programs. In Library Lab Online: Seeds, kids learned how to observe the growth of seeds in a jar or a baggie. After filming the program, Valerie took the seeds from the demonstration home and planted them in pots on her deck. 


The plants spent June and July growing quite happily. They produced lots of leaves, began climbing their support poles, and even grabbed onto the deck rails in their quest to spread out. July brought a battle with Japanese beetles, but most of the leaves remained intact. As August approached, though, the plants did not produce a single flower. No flowers, disappointingly, means no beans.


Why would seemingly healthy plants not produce any beans? This was mystifying, so it was time to do some research!  According to and various other gardening resources, bean plants will not produce flowers if the soil contains too much nitrogen.  Since our seedlings had been planted in large pots full of potting soil, it is likely that the soil had too much nitrogen. 


If the beans had grown as expected, we would never have learned that the amount of nitrogen in the soil is an important factor in growing green beans. Next time, instead of planting bean seeds in pots, we will plant them straight into the ground, be careful not to over-fertilize them, and hope for a bumper crop of green beans to enjoy!

Books to try

If you enjoy gardening, take a look at these books from the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library:

Easy Peasy: Gardening for Kids by Kirsten Bradley

Plant, Sow, Make, & Grow: Mud-tastic Activities for Budding Gardeners by Esther Coombs

Green Green: a Community Gardening Story by Marie Lamba and Baldev Lamba


Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the county, beginning Monday, November 30, we will operate on reduced hours and with limited access to the building. Click here for complete details about the services offered.  Have questions? Email us at or call us 317-839-6602.