Harvest Your Beans

After the work of planting and weeding an edible garden, the vegetables and fruit are part of the reward. We can’t wait to taste the first tender green beans.  At Plant Exchange, near the beginning of August, beans have been producing well for a month.

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The bean plant produces seed, and if we harvest beans promptly at maturity, we will likely have more of them within this season, and the beans we harvest will be tender and tasty.

We mostly choose bush beans in our garden, but some prefer runner or pole beans that require a support structure because of the ease of picking and better use of vertical space.

Weeds are a challenge to bean plants and other garden produce. Dry tree leaves covered the garden soil over the winter. This spring, we mowed the leaves so they would stay in place with windy conditions. The dry, light leaf matter decomposes during the season, and the cover deters weed growth. Weeds do grow, but not as profusely as without the mulch.

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As we harvest beans, we look over the plant for bacteria, fungi, viruses, or insect damage. Yellow leaves are common at the base of the plant. We remove these and other discolored or mostly insect-damaged leaves from the garden. We don’t even put them in the compost pile because of the chance of disease transfer.

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Another benefit of harvesting every few days is that it is easier to catch a pest before too much damage is done. In the case of the photo below, I will remove the whole plant because it may be a virus, and removing one plant may save the others. If an insecticide is applied to an infested plant, please make sure it is safe for edibles.

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We are enjoying long beans for the first time this season. A gate door becomes the climbing structure. Whether these or standard green beans, we stir fry them or steam them as options.

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Here’s a bean harvest video from the Plant Exchange garden.

If you want more about edible plants, do choose the “Vegetable” option on the right side of the blog for other posts.

We invite you to share your green bean tips.

Thank you for visiting Plant Exchange blog. See you next week!

2 thoughts on “Harvest Your Beans

  1. Goodness! My beans got to the top of the fence a while ago, and are started on their way back down, but are not producing yet! I normally grow ‘Blue Lake’ but got ‘Kentucky Wonder’ this year because it was the only seed remaining at the time. They are supposed to be more productive, but must be harvested early. (‘Blue Lake’ can be harvested when a bit more mature.) I know they will be very productive, but I have never waited so long before.

  2. I plant “Royal Burgundy” as my first bean each year, because they tolerate cold, wet soils of early spring better than “green” beans. I always think I’ll pull them out as soon as they start to look a bit tattered, but they keep blooming and producing so well that here it is August, and they are still in their space. I’ve vowed that as soon as “Dragon Tongue” is ready, I’ll pull the “Royal Burgundy” but I said that last year…and was still picking them come frost!!! “Velour” is essential, but if I need to can beans “Provider” is my choice.

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