Frost and Green Beans – How Much Can They Tolerate

Last Updated on June 16th, 2023

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Many of us assume that green beans are indeed vegetables. However, this is surprisingly untrue. Green beans are a fruit. They hold many vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, folate, vitamins A, C, and K – and many more! 

You’ll find these around May through October when attending your local farmer’s market. 

While these may grow into the cooler autumn seasons, there is a chance they might have to endure frostbite along the way. Will frost destroy the crop? Is there a way to prevent or save the crop from a late or early frost?

Let’s talk about everything you need to know about how the frost affects the green bean crop and different ways to save them and prevent them from experiencing frostbite.

Some green beans - Frost and Green Beans – How Much Can They Tolerate?

Will frost kill green beans?

Green beans are known to thrive later in the season, with the cooler, moist environment that takes place in September and October. 

If there is light frostbite, however, there’s a slight chance that your green beans will survive if you follow the instructions provided below. However, if the frost is heavier than anticipated, the crop will not likely survive it. 

Specifically, a freeze within the temperature range of 29-33 degrees F – will be too cold for the crop. However, green beans are not the only crop that will not survive those cold temperatures. 

Other crops such as beans, cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and many more are also sensitive to frosts. 


Are green beans cold resistant?

Green beans will not usually thrive in cold temperatures like in slightly cooler temperatures. They are considered to be warm-weather crops because they will best germinate anywhere around 70-80 degrees F. 

While they are likely to tolerate slightly cooler temperatures, it’s best not to begin sowing until the chances of a late frost have passed.


How to save green beans from frost?

While the chances of saving green beans from a frost are unlikely, there are a few things to keep in mind just in case an early or late season frost hits them. 

The first thing to try is misting the plant themselves with water to remove any of the frosts that might be there. Second, water the plants, as usual, to help them raise healthy temperatures.

Aside from these methods, you can try the result of a frost hitting your crops, and there are a few different things to do in preparation for a frost. 

Let’s talk about the things you can do to prevent the frost from damaging not just your green bean plants but also other crops that cannot handle the cold.


How can you prevent frost damage?

Every gardener knows it’s important to consistently check the weather when you start an outdoor garden. The first and most obvious thing to consider before even beginning a garden for the year is none other than a simple greenhouse. 

Greenhouses provide the perfect environment for your green bean plants, or any plants for that matter, and are especially helpful during those seasons when an unexpected frost happens. 

If you don’t have a greenhouse already and aren’t interested in investing in one, there are a few different things you can do the night before to prepare your crops for the frost. 

The best thing you can do is to cover your plants with linens, cardboard, tarps, and other materials of the sort (do not use plastic) to keep the warmer air inside the secluded environment. 


Final thoughts on frost and green beans

Frost will indeed damage your green bean plants. They can withstand slightly cooler temperatures but will not tolerate low cold to freezing temperatures. 

Luckily, there are not only ways to attempt to save the plants from frost but to prevent them from taking on damage before the frost happens. 

If the green bean plant has already been a victim of an unforeseen frost, mist the plant with water to remove any crystallization from the plant. Then water the crops like usual to help them build and sustain a warmer temperature. 

However, if you see the frost coming in advance (do this by checking the weather consistently), there is time to prepare your green bean plants for the frost fight.

Simply cover the plants with materials like tarps and linens to protect the plant from the frost by retaining warm air throughout the night. 

Avoid materials like plastic because they will not provide the plant with the utmost care throughout the night, leaving your plants with high chances of getting too cold and dying off. 


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