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When to harvest beans?

I'm new to veggie gardening and planted some beans earlier in the spring. The plants have beans on them, but I'm not sure when they are ready to be harvested. Any ideas??

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: TN/GA 7b

when to harvest beans

You want the pods to be firm and crisp and filled out/ elongated, ie not much skinny point left at the end, and a little bit rounded out. Don't let the pods start to yellow. Pick them late enough in the day that the dew is off the plants. Picking when the plants are wet can spread disease.

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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

After all the beans I've been picking (there are 6 1-qt. zip bags in the freezer, and that's the stuff we haven't been eating!), I'm starting to get the "feel" for it:
The beans feel wimpy and the surface feels soft until they're ready to pick -- usually "pencil thin" or a little thicker. They have somewhat tougher feel and don't give or bend. The surface color changes too -- a little duller and less satiny.

Pull each one gently upwards until it breaks off the stem, or hold gently with middle, ring, and pinky fingers, resting the top of the bean on last joint of your forefinger, pull gently and push stem off with your thumb.

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Location: Southwest IN

If you have a small amount, I completely agree with what has been said. I have a very large amount (18-20 gallons in the first picking), and I will pick them as stated as well as ones that are actually a day or two from being ready. That cuts down on the number of times I have to pick. The smaller beans taste just as good. Also, I agree with applestar about picking gently to not damage the plants. With so many to pick though, I am not too gentle. I leave a trail of leaves and stems from picking so fast. The Jade beans that I planted so much of are producing so well that I can many times grab a handful of beans and pull them off at the same time. Sometimes part of the plant comes with it. I am not saying this is the correct way of doing it, but I can pick a lot faster. 8)

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