How To Harvest Green Beans – How and When

Are you a fan of green beans and are thinking about growing your own at home so you can enjoy their delicious flavor? Then you are in the right place. Growing your own produce at home is fun and simple enough, however growing is only one part as you should also learn about how to harvest green beans, exactly what we’ll be telling you all about.

Harvest is the time to enjoy the results of your hard work. If harvesting is in your near future, keep a few things in consideration as you reap the fruits of your labor. Today we’ll be sharing with you several key aspects of how to harvest green beans such as the best time to pick them, and how to store them.

As you can tell by now, from that first seed to the time you consume your green beans, there’s a whole process that needs care and attention. As intimidating as it may sound, harvesting green beans can be done by anyone, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps and make sure you have the right tools for the job. Continue reading as we tell you all about how to harvest green beans the right way.

How To Harvest Green Beans FAQ’s

What types of green beans can you grow?

There are two main types of green beans you can grow: pole and bush beans.

Is it difficult to harvest green beans?

Picking beans is simple. Just go out with a basket or similar container and pull or cut ripe beans off your plants.

Do green beans regrow after picking?

They take longer to mature than the bush variety (up to 70 days), but once they do, they will produce beans all summer. Because they grow straight up, they can be a good choice for small spaces. They produce most of their crop at once, though the plants will keep producing if you keep them well-harvested.

How do you know when green beans are ready to be picked?

  • Harvest green beans when they’re 4-7” in length and the width of a pencil. Most importantly, they should be firm to the touch and have no visible bulges. They’re About to Snap! With one hand, hold the bean where it connects to the vine.
  • In general, bush beans will be ready to pick before pole beans, but it’s a trade-off. Bush beans don’t produce for as long as pole peans, most of the bush bean harvest happens over a span of just 2 or 3 weeks.
  • Pole beans, also called runner beans, take longer to grow and mature, but you can be picking from your plants for months once they get started. Pole beans are the vine, so they keep gaining length and sending out new flowers as long as they have space and the weather is favorable.

How many times can you harvest green beans?

Bush beans produce in about 50 to 55 days; pole beans will take 55 to 65 days. Bush beans often come in all at once, so stagger your plantings every two weeks to get a continuous harvest. Pole beans need their vines to grow and will produce for a month or two if you keep harvesting.

What to do with green beans after picking?

Store unwashed fresh beans in a reusable container or plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper. Whole beans stored this way should keep for about seven days. Freezing Green Beans: Rinse your green beans in cool water and then drain. Cut the ends of the beans off and then cut the beans to whatever length you prefer.

Should I prune my green bean plants?

Do not cut lower than set pods and cut back any of the pole beans that is taller than its support. Cut off all the side shoots not actively bearing to encourage the set pods to ripen and allow you to harvest one last glorious bean bonanza before the long, cold months of winter.

How long do green beans continue to produce?

They need to be grown up a trellis, teepee, tower, netting, or other support and begin to crop eleven to twelve weeks from seeding. The harvest season runs for a longer time than bush beans, lasting around six to eight weeks.

When to harvest green beans?

  • 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.
  • 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 store green beans?

Store uncooked beans in a sealed bag; they will dehydrate and become floppy if left uncovered or if you let them sit out on the counter. For longer storage, you can freeze, dehydrate, or can extra beans, depending on how much work you want to put into it.

How to freeze green beans?

To freeze them, blanch the beans first to help them retain their color and texture before storing them in freezer-safe containers. To blanch green beans, toss your trimmed beans in boiling water for about 3 minutes, then promptly transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Drain the cooled beans and you’re ready to go. They can be frozen or used for green bean salads.

How To Harvest Green Beans

Method 1: Harvesting for fresh eating

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. You can pinch the pod lose because the sudden jerk way can sometimes break the plant or snap the pod in half.
  4. 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.
  5. You can also use sharp scissors or garden clippers to simply cut off beans with a tiny bit of stem attached. Either way, be sure you aren’t pulling too hard on your plants, or you may end up damaging them.
  6. Always remember, the more regularly you harvest, the more your plants will produce.

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How To Harvest Green Beans: Fiskars Gardening Tools


  • Non-Stick Blades
  • Micro-Tip Blades

Method 2: Harvesting for seed-saving

  1. You’ll want to leave a few pods on the vine until they turn brown and dry. By this point, the individual beans will be very plump and bulging, which is good because these beans will be your seeds for next year.
  2. You can get several seeds from each pod, so you’ll only need a few pods to get a good amount of seed to save.
  3. Shell the beans when the pods are completely dry and allow the bean seeds to dry out fully before storing them.
  4. If you live in a humid climate, use a stacking dehydrator to fully dry your seeds before storage.

How To Harvest Green Beans Additional Tips

  • One of the keys to harvesting green beans is to do it regularly. Picking the beans stimulates your plants to produce more and gives you a longer harvest period. Plan to be harvesting every 2-3 days once the bean season starts.
  • Green beans are picked young and tender before the seeds inside have fully developed. Pick green beans every day; the more you pick, the more beans grow.
  • Look for firm, sizable that are firm and can be snapped; generally as thick as a pencil. Snap or cut the beans off the plant, being careful not to tear the plant.
  • Watch them closely and regularly. Green beans are better when picked young. They’re more tender and have a better flavor.
  • Unwashed green beans will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, but they will taste the best if cooked right after you pick them.

Interesting in harvesting other plants? What do you know how to harvest quinoa?