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