How and When to Harvest Green Beans

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If you are new to growing green beans then you might have questions about how and when to harvest them.

Green beans, whether you are growing pole beans or bush beans, are very prolific producers, and can continually produce throughout the season with the proper care.

At first, knowing when your green beans are ready to harvest can be very confusing, but once you get the hang of it it becomes second nature.

Here’s an easy guide for knowing how and when to harvest green beans.

When to Harvest Green Beans

Generally, pole beans should be ready to harvest from 50 – 60 days from the time the seedlings sprout, and bush beans should be ready in 50 – 55 days. The maturity time will depend greatly on what variety you are growing.

Some varieties grow much quicker than others so always refer back to the seed packet for information on your specific variety.

So, in just about two months after the seedlings emerge, you should begin seeing small green bean pods growing on your plants, like the one in the picture below.

Newly Formed Green Bean

This pod isn’t quite ready to be harvested yet, once you see little pods like this, begin keeping a close eye on your plants each day. The green beans will grow quickly.

The rule of thumb I use for harvesting most varieties of green beans:

The pod is ready to harvest once it reaches a length of four to seven inches long and the diameter is a little fatter than a pencil.

These Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest

The ‘Early Contender‘ bush beans in the picture above are ready to harvest. They are not very long, but have fattened up to a size I like.

Remember, the harvest size can vary depending on the variety you are growing. Yard Long green beans can grow to a length of two feet or more!

It is best to harvest green beans as they begin to reach the appropriate size. This will help promote more blooming and more production from the plant as the season progresses.

Waiting until you have a huge mess of green beans to harvest all at once can lead to some pods becoming overly mature, tough, and stringy.

Harvesting the green beans early and often helps to ensure your green beans are tender and tasty, plus your plants provide a continual production all season.

How to Harvest Green Beans

Now that you have a good idea of what to look for when harvesting green beans, it’s time to go out and actually begin harvesting.

Harvesting green beans is pretty straightforward.

Once you have found a green bean you want to harvest, simply grasp it firmly up near the top where it connects to the vine.

Pinch the Green Bean Pod From the Plant

You can use the other hand to support the vine while giving the pod a quick jerk to pop it loose with the other hand, or you can use your thumb to pinch it loose.

I prefer to pinch the pod loose, because the sudden jerk way can sometimes break the plant or snap the pod in half.

Harvested Green Bean

It may take a little practice, but after harvesting a couple you will have the hang of it. Soon you will be able to harvest several rows in just a few minutes.

As you can see, knowing when and how to harvest green beans is pretty easy. Enjoy your green bean harvest!

Try These Fabulous Green Bean Varieties!

Pole Bean Seeds

Bush Bean Seeds

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Comments

  1. Hi,
    You have adorable veggie garden.
    Can you please guide which fertilizer you use. I have tried different brands of fertilizers but they do no good.

    Thanks,
    Palak

  2. I love your website, it’s very informative. I have a question about bush beans. Do I need to provide a cage or a fence for them to grow on?

  3. Hi this is my first year growing green beans. I think l let them grow to long and now I have theses large beans which are hard and take forever to cook.. I opened one up and saw that there were real beans inside, can u eat them? or should i just replant them.. thanks you

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