There are many varieties of beans including lima, green, wax, pole and bush. The average gardener can successfully plant beans and harvest them for fresh and sometimes organic beans. They can be frozen or canned for off season use. Beans are generally ready to harvest in early summer.
Examine your bean pods. In general, they should be plump and round, as well as firm and crisp. Most pods are green in color, but wax beans should be a nice yellow color. Open up a few of the pods to look at the beans inside. The beans should not be fully developed.
Pick the beans when the crops are dry, after the morning dew and rain droplets have evaporated. The reason for this is that harvesting the beans when they are wet can spread a bean bacterial light, which can damage your entire crop.
Pick the beans carefully. Snap the pods off right at the start of the bean pod. Try not to damage the plant by breaking the entire stem or branch. It will continue to grow beans during the same harvest season.
Continue to harvest your beans every couple of days until they are all harvested. If you planted your beans at different times, as many people do, you can harvest beans for a couple months.