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How & When to Harvest Green Beans – How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest

In this article, we talk about the harvesting time of broad beans both in tender pods, green beans, or dry beans, considering weather conditions and other aspects. Let’s see How & When to Harvest Green Beans, both in tender pods, green beans, or dry beans. Also, I explain How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest. I encourage you to continue reading this article to the end, as at the request of our gardening readers, I have included specific information for harvesting green bean varieties such as Contender Bush Bean, Golden Wax Beans, Kentucky Wonder Beans, Rattlesnake Beans, and Blue Lake Bush Bean.

How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest
Understand How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest

To know the optimum harvest time, we cannot talk about specific dates since it will be earlier or later depending on multiple factors such as variety, sowing date, weather conditions, crop care, etc. Green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are commonly planted as an annual plant from March to July-August depending on the new 2023 USDA hardiness zone map. Although each variety is different, the start of outdoor planting begins when the soil temperature is no lower than 60-65 F. Depending on the temperature, hours of light, and variety, the harvest can be very different. That is why it is so essential to understand when green beans are ready to harvest.

How Do You Know When to Pick Green Beans? It is much more accurate to observe the green bean plant with some frequency to determine when the pods are ready to be harvested.

In turn, depending on whether the pods are to be harvested green – with their grains not yet fully formed – or dry, they should be harvested at different times, as we will see below.

When to Harvest Green Beans – Tender String Bean Pods

When To Harvest Green Beans – Tender String Bean Pods. This is the first or earliest harvest and must be done at the precise moment when the pods are still tender because if you wait a little longer, they will become hard.

As with beans, not all pods ripen at the same time, so this harvest has to be done in stages, from when the first pods reach their optimum point for consumption until the plant stops producing or its quality worsens.

The production per square meter of land is usually around 400 or 1000 grams of tender pods, although it depends a lot on the climate and other factors of the crop.

Best Time to Pick Green Beans

Best Time to Pick Green Beans. In the earliest varieties – or warmer climates – harvest can begin as early as late fall and early winter when sowing has been done in late summer or throughout the winter and spring if sown later in the fall.

Best Time To Pick Green Beans. With other later varieties – or in colder climates – harvest usually occurs throughout the spring and into early summer.

Best Time to Harvest Green Beans. The best time to harvest green beans is in the morning when their sugar levels are at their highest.

How & When to Harvest Green Beans How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest Contender Bush Bean, Golden Wax Beans, Kentucky Wonder Beans, Rattlesnake Beans, and Blue Lake Bush Bean
Harvesting Contender beans: Once bean pods appear, you can pick them frequently, every 2 or 3 days, to extend the harvest time.

When to Pick Green Beans

When To Pick Green Beans. It is possible to pick green beans between 2 and 3 months from sowing. In general, harvesting of tender pods usually begins 2 to 3 months after planting.

When To Harvest Green Beans Tender Pods

When To Harvest Green Beans Tender Pods. Tender pods, with barely formed beans, soon become harder and swollen, a sign that the beans have fattened inside.

How To Know When Green Beans Are Ready To Harvest. Obviously, in order to harvest the green beans, the tender pods cannot be harvested, or at least not all of them.

How To Know When Green Beans Are Ready To Harvest. When it is observed that there are significant bulges in the pods, one of them should be opened to see the condition of the bean. If it is the desired size and still green, it can be harvested.

How To Know When Green Beans Are Ready To Harvest. Do not wait too long either, as green beans will quickly harden before the pods change color.

When To Harvest Dry Beans

When To Harvest Dry Beans. This is the later harvest, just as the pods begin to darken in color and dry out.

When To Pick Dry Beans. The pods should be harvested before they begin to open naturally, as by then, many beans may have already fallen to the ground and become dirty or wet.

How Do You Know When To Pick Green Beans and Dry Beans? Not all pods dry at the same time, so harvesting should also be staggered. They could be left on the plant until they are all dry, but then the more advanced pods would open and close the beans.

Best Time to Pick Dry Beans. The pods mustn’t be wet at the time of harvest, so they should be harvested in good weather and before rainfall, which can spoil the grains.

Generally, a yield of 1 to 2 kg of dry beans per square meter of land can be expected.

How and When to Harvest Green Beans

Let’s see a few tips about When to Harvest Green Beans, Best Time to Pick Green Beans, and How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest for Contender Bush beans, Golden Wax Beans, Kentucky Wonder Beans, Rattlesnake Beans, and Blue Lake Bush Bean.

Contender Bush Bean

The stringless Contender Bush Bean matures early and produces high yields. The Contender Bush Bean is adaptable. It performs well in short, cool growing seasons or hot climates. The beans are 5 to 7- 8 inches long and retain their flavor when frozen or canned.

When to Pick Contender Beans

Harvesting Contender beans: Once bean pods appear, you can pick them frequently, every 2 or 3 days, to extend the harvest time.

Sow Right Seeds - Contender Bush Bean Seeds for Planting - Non-GMO Heirloom Packet with Instructions to Plant a Home Vegetable Garden - Stringless Variety - Abundant Harvest, Great for Kids (1)
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Sow Right Seeds - Contender Bush Bean Seeds for Planting - Non-GMO Heirloom Packet with Instructions to Plant a Home Vegetable Garden - Stringless Variety - Abundant Harvest, Great for Kids (1)
  • Beautiful - Large premium seed packet of Contender Bush Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seeds. Minimum of 7g per packet (about 50 seeds). Stringless bush bean that matures early and produces high yields. Adaptable, performing well in short, cool growing seasons or in hot weather. Beans are 5-8" long and retain their flavor when frozen or canned.
  • Productive - Contender Bean germinates in 7-12 days when soil temps are 65-75°F. Plant 1” deep and space 3-4” apart in an area with full sun. This variety will grow 12-22” tall with a spread of 16-20”. Beans will mature in 60-75 days, plant in USDA zones 3-10.
  • Good Eats - Fresh beans are a garden treat. Roast your beans or sautee them for a delicious dinner addition, or eat them raw straight from the garden for a tasty snack! Beans will also hold up well when frozen or canned.

Golden Wax Beans

Golden Wax Beans are stringless, buttery yellow beans.  Golden Wax bean pods are 4-6″ long and retain their flavor very well flavor when frozen or canned.

When to Pick Golden Wax Beans

Harvesting Golden Wax Beans: Once pods appear, pick frequently to extend the harvest, every 2-3 days.

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  • Beautiful - Large individual packets of Kentucky Contender, Royal Burgundy and Golden Wax Bush Bean to pack your garden with protein this season.
  • Productive - Bush bean varieties are notoriously vigorous - you are guaranteed a bountiful harvest. Bean pods have a tender texture with a reliable flavor. Great fresh, canned, or frozen.
  • Good Eats - Homegrown beans are incredibly delicEasy to Grow - Instructions included on each packet. Plus, we are available to answer all your questions. If these seeds don’t germinate, we will happily make it right for you. ious. They are great steamed, roasted, or sautéed with other vegetables, as an ingredient in casseroles, or even eaten raw.

Kentucky Wonder Beans

Kentucky Wonder beans are a variety that produces heavy clusters of green beans. The Kentucky Wonder bean pods are stringless when harvested young. The Kentucky Wonder bean pods may reach 9-10″ when fully mature and retain their flavor when frozen, dried, or canned.

How & When to Harvest Green Beans How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest Contender Bush Bean, Golden Wax Beans, Kentucky Wonder Beans, Rattlesnake Beans, and Blue Lake Bush Bean
Harvesting: Once Kentucky Wonder Beans begin developing, pick every 2 or 3 days to prolong the harvest.

When to Pick Kentucky Wonder Beans

When to Pick Kentucky Wonder Beans. Once Kentucky Wonder Beans begin developing, pick every 2 or 3 days to prolong the harvest.

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  • So Many Green Beans - Kentucky Wonder Pole beans are the standard pole bean to grow from seeds because the plant produces heavy yields and is super easy to grow. Each vine will produce numerous pods of delicious green beans that reach from 7-10 inches long.
  • Versatile Snap Bean - Kentucky Wonder Pole pods are stringless if harvested young at 5" or smaller. Harvest frequently to improve production, and succession plant as needed. These vines will require support like a pole or trellis to climb.
  • Sustainable Living - Vegetable gardening is an essential foundation of a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Home-grown green beans are generally more flavorful and nutritious than store-bought. Kentucky Wonder Pole beans are excellent whether canned, frozen, or pickled for long-term storage. If grown to full maturity, it can also be a delicious shelling bean.

Rattlesnake Beans

The Rattlesnake Bean variety is a vigorous pole bean that grows up to 10′ tall. When cooked, the beans are green with purple lines that fade away. The long beans have a tender texture for canning and freeze well.

When to Pick Kentucky Wonder Beans
Harvesting: Once Rattlesnake Beans begin developing, pick every 2 or 3 days to prolong the harvest.

When to Harvest Rattlesnake Beans

When to Harvest Rattlesnake Beans. Once Rattlesnake Beans begin developing, pick every 2 or 3 days to prolong the harvest.

Sow Right Seeds - Rattlesnake Pole Bean Seeds for Planting - Non-GMO Heirloom Packet with Instructions to Plant an Outdoor Home Vegetable Garden - Stringless Variety - Tender with Purple Streaks (1)
  • Beautiful - Large premium packet of Rattlesnake Pole Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) seeds. These vigorous climbing beans will be a focal point in your vegetable garden with the unusual purple streaks on dark green beans. Minimum of 13g per packet (about 40 seeds).
  • Productive - Rattlesnake Pole Bean germinates in 4-10 days when soil temps are 65-75°F. Plant 1” deep and space 4-6” apart in an area with full sun. This variety will grow 8-10’ tall with a spread of 12-16”. Beans will mature in 55-65 days, plant in USDA zones 3-10.
  • Good Eats - Homegrown beans are incredibly delicious. So much more tasty than canned or frozen beans. They are great steamed. roasted or sautéed with other vegetables, as an ingredient in casseroles, or even eaten raw.

Blue Lake Bush Bean

Blue Lake Bush Bean is a tender annual plant that grows 15″ tall. Therefore, it is a compact bush, so there is no need for poles, trellis, or support for vertical growth. Blue Lake bean pods are 6-7″ long. The Blue Lake Beans is one of the best-tasting green beans in North America. Blue Lake Beans are tender, sweet, round, stringless beans that are great for fresh eating, canning, and freezing.

How & When to Harvest Green Beans How to Know When Green Beans Are Ready to Harvest Contender Bush Bean, Golden Wax Beans, Kentucky Wonder Beans, Rattlesnake Beans, and Blue Lake Bush Bean
Blue Lake Bush Beans are easy to grow and quickly ready to harvest. Harvest when beans are 3-5″. To encourage new beans and extend the harvest, it is better to pick green beans frequently every 2-3 days. Definitely, the best time to harvest Blue Lake Bush Beans is in the morning when their sugar level is highest.

When to Harvest Blue Lake Bush Beans

When to Harvest Blue Lake Beans. Juicy and crunchy Blue Lake Bush Beans are easy to grow and quickly ready to harvest.

Harvest when beans are 3-5″. To encourage new beans and extend the harvest, it is better to pick green beans frequently every 2-3 days. When leaving mature green beans on the plant, it will stop or slow green bean production.

When Is The Best Time to Harvest Blue Lake Bush Beans

Definitely, the best time to harvest Blue Lake Bush Beans is in the morning when their sugar level is highest.

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I love it when we can blend a fantastic harvest into a delicious recipe. Here is one of my best seasonal recipes: The Best Green Bean Casserole Recipe for Oven and Crockpot

I hope you find this helpful article. Need more information about harvesting green beans? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below to The Garden Style Community.

About Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan is an agronomist and a master gardener. In her previous roles, Julia was an advisor promoting large-scale food growing in urbanized areas, introducing the concept of chemical-free produce. She is an expert in putting her hands in the soil, developing organic foods, and improving production processes for decades. Julia is a natural teacher and encourages every person in her way to grow their own food. She split her days between writing and reviewing for The Garden Style Website and offering assessments to cure edible land. Julia enjoys connecting with The Garden Style Community.

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