When to Pick Green Beans? (Best Time to Harvest for Best Result)

picking green beans time

Harvesting green beans at the right time is essential for a good yield and quality of produce. Knowing when to pick green beans is key to ensuring that you get the best possible results from your garden.

The best time for harvesting green beans depends on several factors, including the type of bean, the climate, and the maturity of the beans.

A green bean picked too late can have a soggy, less-tasting bean pod with a higher chance of stringiness. Picked right on time, green beans can have a fresh crispiness and a sweeter flavor.

You can even leave them on until the pod dries and turns brown. This is the simplest way to store beans for the winter, and you just treat the mature beans like any other dry bean when cooking.

In this article, we will discuss how to determine when it is optimal to harvest green beans and provide helpful tips on how to do so.

When to Pick Green Beans: Ready to Harvest

To determine when your green beans are ready for picking, you should inspect the pods daily. If left unharvested too long, they can become tough and fibrous, so make sure to check them regularly! 

Look for brightly colored pods that are firm with no give when lightly squeezed; if they’re not quite ripe yet, then their color will be more yellowish-green.

If you notice lumps along the length of your beans, this indicates that the seeds within have grown and the pod has become stringy.

Take a single bean and check to see if it readily separates from the vine and breaks when you split it in half to determine whether your crop is ready to be picked. When eaten fresh, immediately after plucking, the green beans at this stage of life cycle should have a soft and sweet flavor.

Green beans are ready for picking from mid-summer through early autumn. Green beans are typically ready after about two months from planting green beans from seeds, although this will depend on the variety that you’ve grown. 

This will vary depending on the kind of bean, so check the seed packaging when you first plant your crop.

Best Time of Day to Pick Green Beansime

The time of picking affects both the taste and the keeping power of the veggies. The best time of day to pick green beans is in the early morning before the sun has turned up but after the morning dew has dried, around 9 a.m. 

This is the best time to pick most vegetables from the garden. If you pick the green beans while they are still wet, just dry them before storing.

At night, plants make up for the water they lost during the day and turn the starches they made into sugar.

Green beans harvested in the morning will be sweeter, juicier, and more crisp. Pick the beans the morning of the day you plan to cook them for optimal flavor.

Vegetables harvested during the hot daytime will be mushier and will not keep as long in the refrigerator. The rate of moisture loss determines how long a vegetable will keep, and moisture loss is greatest during the day. A smooth transition from cool beans picked in the morning to stored beans in the refrigerator will result in the least moisture loss.

How to Pick Green Beans

How to Harvest Green Beans (When to Pick for Fresh, Shelled & Seed)

A green bean plant will still produce over the course of a season. So it’s important to not damage the plant when harvesting green beans. Follow the steps below to safely and easily harvest your green beans: 

  • In one hand, hold the vine where the stem and vine meet, and the top of the green bean in the other. 
  • Pull the green bean gently until it comes off the stem, or pinch or cut the stem right above the bean. If you pull the pod too aggressively, you might tear the pod where it connects to the stem, and that green bean won’t store as well.
  • A good rule of thumb is if you can easily pull the pod off with two fingers then it is ready for picking! 
  • When harvesting of picking pole beans, pluck it near the base of the vine, where there should be plenty of tender pods available with just a light tugging motion. If the plant is very tall, you can use a pair of garden shears and cut the vine near the base to harvest it. 
  • When harvesting or picking bush beans, pinch or cut the stem just above a cluster of pods and look for more clusters developing below that one.

How Often Should You Pick Green Beans?

It is important to know how often green beans should be picked in order to maximize yields and ensure a healthy harvest. Green beans need to be harvested frequently, as soon as the pods reach full maturity and before they start turning yellow or brown. 

Generally speaking, green beans should be picked at least every other day or every three days at most once the harvest season starts.

To get the best quality green beans from your plants, it is important to pick them when they are fresh. If you wait too long, the pods will not have as much flavor and nutrition.

The longer a green bean stays on the vine, the less succulent it becomes, so it’s important to pay attention to their size and color when harvesting them.

How to Store Green Beans?

Storing green beans is an important part of preserving their freshness and taste. Properly storing green beans will help them stay crisp and flavorful for a longer period of time. 

Whether you’ve picked your own from the garden or purchased them from the grocery store, there are some simple steps to follow when storing green beans. 

  • First, inspect the beans before purchasing or picking to ensure that they are free of bruises, blemishes, insect damage, or signs of wilting.
  • If keeping in the refrigerator, place them in a plastic bag with holes in it so that excess moisture can escape and wrap a damp paper towel around the ends. 
  • You may blanch the green beans by placing them in boiling water for 3 minutes and then immediately putting them into ice water for 3 minutes. Put them in a plastic bag with as little air as possible inside the sealed bag. The beans will keep their bright green color this way and will be good for up to a year.
  • Canning green beans is a great choice if you have a large amount of green beans but it requires a pressure canner and mason jars. Here’s an article that teaches the simple way on canning green beans.
  • The easiest way to store beans for later is to let them dry on the vine. Once pods have turned brown and dried out, collect them off the vine. Discard the dried pods and store dried beans in airtight containers or jars. At this point they’re treated the same way as any other dried bean and can store for years.

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