Ripening

Green Beans: You know they are ripening when they are reaching full size, but before the beans start to swell. As the pods ripen, early pickings are advised.

When and How

Seed Pods, 1-56 days after maturity

Harvesting Green Beans: The pods take 18 to 21 days from pollination to full size. They are best gathered just as they are reaching full size, but before the beans start to swell. They should still snap in half easily. Many people prefer them when they are just slightly smaller in diameter than a pencil. You might try harvesting the pods at different sizes, to see which you like best.

The best time to harvest is in the early morning when it is still cool. Gather the pods carefully so you don’t damage the plants. Hold on to the vine and pull down on the pod, so there is no danger of pulling the plant out of the ground.

The best way to harvest older beans is to break off the pod just below its stem and then break sideways and pull, leaving any strings attached to the plant. In humid areas, it’s best not to harvest while the foliage is wet, as this can transmit disease. You must gather the green beans conscientiously whether you want them or not, as the plants may stop producing when the first seed ripens. If you harvest Pole Beans every 2 to 3 days, it is possible to keep the plants producing for weeks.

The key to a large harvest is early and regular picking (the more you take the more you get). If the harvest gets away from you, remove all the pods of any size. With luck this will encourage a new growth of pods.

Harvesting Dry Beans: These are gathered after the pods have shriveled and dried on the vines (you can sometimes hear the seeds rattle). If you have only a small quantity they can be gathered by individual pods, but for larger harvests pick the whole plants and lay them on a tarp to dry. Carefully thresh out the seeds to free them from the pods and then dry thoroughly.

Plants/person:

5.0

Yield/plant:

0.1-0.3lbs

Yield/sq. ft.:

0.3-1.0lbs

Fruit Size:

3.5"-6.0"

Exterior Color:

Green

Interior Color:

Green

Nutrition:

Beans are rich in iron and potassium.