It may be thrilling and fulfilling to grow bush beans in your home garden. When the beans are planted, a period of eager anticipation begins that will last until the beans have reached their full potential and can be picked.
Knowing when to pick bush beans is an important part of growing them, but it can be hard for people who are new to gardening to figure out.
When bush beans are ready to be harvested depends on the type, the time of year, and what you want to do with them. There is no one-size-fits-all answer.
In this article, we’ll talk about the best time to pick bush beans and what signs to look for to know when they’re ready. We will also talk about the best way to harvest them and the best time of day to do so.
What are Bush Beans?
Bush beans or bush green beans, commonly referred to as snap beans or string beans, are a type of legume that have been around for centuries.
The name comes from the fact that these vegetables grow in a bush-like shape and typically reach no more than two feet in height.
Another type of bean is the pole bean. Pole beans, on the other hand, require a pole or some other form of support to remain upright.
In general, bush beans produce beans faster than pole beans. Additionally, bush beans will require less space in a garden.
Bush green beans are known for their tender pods, which contain small, creamy white seeds inside. Many people think of canned bush green beans when they think of bush green beans, but you can also find fresh bush green beans in most grocery store produce sections.
These versatile vegetables can be cooked in a wide variety of ways, including roasting, boiling, steaming, sautéing, or even eating them raw. Many recipes call for adding seasonings or spices such as garlic powder and paprika to give them an added boost of flavor.
When to Pick Bush Beans: Ready to Harvest
Knowing when to pick bush beans is very important if you want your crop to taste the best and give you the most beans.
The perfect time to harvest green beans is when they are still immature but have firmed up some. You want to catch them before the seeds have started bulging but have formed enough that the pod is firm to the pinch.
A nice, uniform thickness of about a pencil without bulging seeds is the sweet zone to harvest.
Bush beans are usually ready to harvest when they reach 4-6 inches long and are still firm. To confirm that the bean is ready, you should snap a few open; if they have soft seeds inside, they’re ready to be picked.
The pods should be harvested before they become tough or stringy in texture, as this indicates that the bean has passed its prime stage of ripeness. Expect to harvest beans about a week after seeing flowers on the bean plant.
Green beans at this stage are perfect for sautéing. If you end up not picking the beans on time and leaving them on the pods, don’t worry; they are still good to eat. Experiment with them and, at the very least, boil them.
How Long Do Bush Beans Take to Produce?
While some varieties may be ready as early as 48 days after planting, most bush bean plants take around 55–65 days before they are ready for harvest.
This makes them a great choice for gardeners who want a fast crop time without compromising on quality or yield.
Bush beans should be harvested when their pods are still young and tender; this will ensure that they have a sweet flavor and crunchy texture when eaten fresh or cooked.
Once the plants start to bloom, they should be picked every 3–4 days to get the most pods and keep any from getting too ripe.
Best Time of Day to Pick Bush Green Bean
Picking bush green beans at the right time of day can make all the difference when it comes to harvesting an abundant crop. Knowing when to pick green beans is a critical step in ensuring that you get the most out of your harvest each season.
The ideal time to pick these vegetables is in the early morning, just after sunrise.
During this period, temperatures are still relatively cool, and there is usually dew on the leaves of plants. This moisture helps keep the beans plump and juicy, meaning they will stay fresher for longer.
Additionally, picking in the early morning means that you’ll have fewer pests, such as slugs or snails, which can damage harvested crops if left unchecked.
How to Pick Bush Beans
Picking bush beans is a simple process, but it’s important to know how to do it correctly in order to get the most out of your crop.
In addition to that, it is important not to damage the plant during harvesting seasons. Over the course of a season, a green bean plant will continue to produce.
To safely and simply harvest your green beans, follow these instructions:
- Hold the top of the green bean in one hand and the part of the vine where the stem and vine join in the other.
- The green bean can be carefully pulled off the stem, or the stalk can be pinched or chopped just above the bean. If you pluck the pod too firmly, you risk tearing it where it joins the stem, which would affect how well the green bean stores.
- Be sure not to pull too hard or you risk damaging the plant.
- A good rule of thumb is that the pod is ripe for picking if you can easily peel it off with two fingers.
- If you see any yellowed pods or those that have dried on the vine, leave them since these are past their peak freshness.
- Pinch or clip the stem just above a cluster of pods and look for more underneath that cluster.
How Often Should You Pick Bush Beans?
How often pole beans are picked is an important part of making sure a harvest will be a success.
When you pick pole beans often, you keep the plants healthy by stopping the vines from getting too thick and reducing the chance that they will get sick or be attacked by bugs.
Picking pole beans also encourages them to keep making pods, so you can get a steady harvest for weeks or months during their growing season.
Generally, it’s recommended that you pick your bean pods every 2–3 days for optimal health and yields. Additionally, leaving pods on the vine too long can lead to flavor loss as well as an increase in the toughness and stringiness of the pod itself.
How to Store Green Beans After Harvesting?
Harvesting green beans is a great way to get fresh produce right from your garden. But what do you do with all that bounty once it’s been harvested? It’s important to store your green beans properly so they stay fresh and tasty for as long as possible.
Here are some tips on how to store green beans after harvesting them:
- First, it’s important to process the beans quickly. After harvesting, rinse the green beans in cold water and allow them to dry completely before storing. This will help preserve their flavor and texture.
- Once dry, trim off the ends of each bean before packaging them for storage. Put the beans that have been trimmed into airtight containers or resealable plastic bags.
- Put labels on them with the date they were picked. This will make it easy to keep track of them.
- Store in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight such as into a refrigerator or root cellar if available.