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How to Grow Italian Bush Beans

Italian bush beans have long, flat pods and are sometimes called flat beans. There are several varieties, including Roma, which has bright green pods, and Rose, which has red-and-white speckled pods. They are prized for their rich, robust snap bean flavor, and they are also suitable for preserving either by freezing or canning. Bush beans are a warm-season crop, producing a bountiful harvest throughout the summer and into fall. Plant Italian bush beans when all danger of spring frost has passed.

Apply a 2-inch layer of compost over a well-draining garden bed that is in full sun. Till the compost into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil with a hoe or a power tiller.

Sow Italian bush bean seeds 1 inch deep, spacing them 2 inches apart in the row. Space rows 2 to 3 feet apart.

Water immediately after planting to moisten the soil. Continue to water once per week, providing about 1 inch of water to each plant.

Mulch around the bean plants after they develop their second set of true leaves, which is usually the third set of leaves they form. Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch such as straw or bark to prevent weed growth and preserve moisture in the soil.

Inspect the undersides of the leaves for mite or aphid infestation. Mites are hard to see, but they leave behind webbing or damage the leaves. Aphids are green, white or brown insects that cluster on the leaves. Rinse them off with a spray of water, or treat with an insecticidal soap.

Harvest the Italian bean pods when the pods are long but at peak color for the specific variety. Seeds should be just beginning to form inside, so the pods are still flat. Snap them off from the plant but avoid yanking the pod, which may damage the plant.


Harvest beans as soon as they ripen to encourage further pod formation.

Italian beans rarely need any fertilization to thrive.


Harvest pods only when the plant is dry, otherwise you may spread disease among the bush beans.

Avoid getting moisture on the leaves when watering the plant. Wet leaves lead to fungus and disease.

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