The Q&A Archives: When To Harvest Roma And Tenderette Bush Beans

Question: I have planted roma II and tenderette variety bush beans. The bean pods are about 3 to 5 inches in length on both plants. My question is when is the right time to harvest. I don't know if these varieties should develop full sized beans inside or not. The pods look ready to pick but the bean inside is very, very small (about the size of a BB) I don't know if I should wait to harvest to let the bean inside get full sized or do they even get any bigger. the other varieties I have planted in the past (peanut beans) have fullsized beans when ready to harvest.

Answer: Bush beans can be harvested as soon as they are large enough and firm enough to eat, and the harvesting encourages them to continue to produce more beans. Allowing beans to mature and harden on the plant will cause it to stop producing. Many people also prefer the younger beans because the inner seeds are still smalland the beans are more tender. Romana II for instance is described as having four and a half inch beans, so they are probably quite ready to pick -- generally you would not want to allow them to exceed the listed size so it is better to pick them on the small side.

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