Last month I got lazy. I put beans in the ground and then waited for it to rain. Eventually it did. Then I waited for the bean plants to emerge. This should take 10-14 days. Mine took longer and germination was poor. Some varieties barely showed up at all.
It turns out there is a good reason to water your seeds after you sow them; faster emergence. While my seeds were waiting for rain, critters big and small were chewing at their protective skins, resulting in all sorts of compromised.
The plants that did eventually emerge were weak and were often attacked soon after emergence. No esta bueno. Commercial croppers often avoid this problem by coating seeds in pesticide prior to planting, a practice that was recently implicated in honeybee declines. Yeah, not going to be doing that.
So (kick kick self), I am resowing most of my beans. And I will water them upon sowing. It is warmer now, so a comparison will be difficult. Perhaps next year (when I am less desperate to get this show rolling) I can do a side-by-side planting water vs not to definitively test my hypothesis.