Harvest snap beans (also known as green or string beans) before the seeds swell in the pods when they are no more than the diameter of a pencil. Smaller beans can be served as tender, baby snap beans.
When to harvest snap beans
- Start your snap bean harvest about 2 to 3 weeks after the plants begin to bloom and continue to pick almost daily. Snap beans take about 50 to 60 days from sowing to reach harvest.
- At a minimum, harvest pole beans every 2 days and bush beans at least once a week. Pole-type beans generally bear over a longer period than bush types.
- When you quit picking and allow seeds in the pods to develop and mature, the plant will stop blossoming and producing pods; its life cycle will be complete.
- Your bean harvest will end when temperatures drop below 40°F (4°C); then pods will become opaque and develop rust-colored spots.