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Bean, Early Bush Italian

Short Description

Flat Italian beans have the best bean flavor, and this one is the tastiest

Full Description

HEIRLOOM. Early Bush Italian is a great Burpee exclusive variety that is easy to grow and quick to yield. The 16-18" plants are erect, so it's easy to pick the 5 1/2" long beans. The pods remain stringless and are excellent frozen. For robust bean flavor, make this bean your first choice. Plants yield early and need no support.
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Item#: 56499A
Order: 1 Pkt. (2 oz.)
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Item#: 56499T
Order: 1 Pkt. (1/2 lb.)
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Product properties

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

50 days

Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.

5-6 inches

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

10 inches

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

16-18 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Direct Sow

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Growing Pole and Bush Beans
Beans are one of the easiest summer crops you can grow. We show you how to grow your own.
Watch video
Chef Ian Knauer Recipe-Beans with Green Goddess Herb Sauce
Chef Ian of the Farm Cooking School in Stockton New Jersey Prepares Green Beans with Green Goddness Herb Sauce.
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How to Sow

  • Because cowpeas are members of the legume family of plants, they can benefit from an application of a soil inoculant designed for beans and peas, prior to planting. The inoculant will enable the plants to take nitrogen from the air to use as fertilizer, which can increase crop yield and quality.
  • Sow in average soil in a sunny location after danger of frost and soil has warmed, from spring to early summer. Sow after the soil has warmed, as seeds may rot in cooler soils.
  • Coat untreated seed with an inoculant.
  • Sow in rows 24 inches apart. Sow seeds 3 inches apart and cover with 2 inches of fine soil. Firm lightly and water gently.
  • Seedlings emerge in 10-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions.
  • Keep sowing bean seeds every 2 weeks for a constant supply of beans.
  • Thin gradually to stand 12 inches apart when seedlings are 1-2 inches high.

How to Grow

  • In dry weather, keep soil well-watered. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
  • Cultivate or mulch to keep weed-free, but do not work or handle plants when leaves are wet.
  • Beans as companion plants: Planted closely in rows spaced around two feet, bush bean plants blend well with like-sized warm-season vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes and eggplants. Between towers of pole bean plants, planting vines like squash can help keep weeds down. Pole beans can help protect cool-season vegetables such as spinach and lettuces, as the weather warms.

Harvest and Preserving Tips

  • For fresh use, pick pods as soon as well-filled out with peas
  • For dried bean use, harvest in about 80 days
  • To Dry Beans: Allow the beans to stay on the plants until they are partially dry. Then pull up the plants and hang them in a warm, dry place with good air circulation until the pods and seeds are thoroughly dry. Shell the beans and save the pods and plants for composting.
Days To Maturity
50 days
Fruit Size
5-6 inches
Full Sun
10 inches
16-18 inches
Sow Method
Direct Sow
Planting Time
Spring, Summer
Sow Time
After Last Frost
6 inches
Life Cycle
Bean, Early Bush Italian is rated 4.4615 out of 5 by 13.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Absolutely most delicious bean...but... I've grown this variety off and on for the past 10+ years. Heavy producer in good soil. Delicious! Steamed, with a little olive oil...they melt in your mouth. BUT.....I've had a real problem with germination on seeds older than 2 years. I know there is always some deterioration in germination rates with seeds, but a 0% (thats zero) germination rate on 4 year old seeds is ridiculous. This has happened to me twice in 10 years. I have other beans (Fortex for example) that will germinate at least 50% at that age. SO buy seeds yearly if you want his delicious flat bean.
Date published: 2016-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great in every way I love Italian beans. They are just a little different and taste wonderful. This cultivar was fast growing, prolific, disease free, and needed no staking. Everything good!
Date published: 2014-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unbelievably Delicious! This was my first year growing a garden other than just a few tomato plants. I can not believe the flavor, texture and size of these beans! They are the best I think I have ever had...and that's saying a lot growing up in a southern home. I did plant another type of bean but not as happy as I am with these. I plan to plant double of these next year! Glad to read the comments that these can be planted in the fall too....because I think in the next day or two you know what I will be doing so that I can have MORE beans for canning and freezing!
Date published: 2013-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from visually appealing I loved the look and taste of these beans. Visually appealing on the plate. They were so large that what they lacked in quantity they more than made up for. I'll plant them again as I love variety.
Date published: 2013-07-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Poor Performer in Central Texas I purchased these in addition to Contender bush beans and the Early Bush Italian were poor performers. I garden in Austin Texas and planted these this year for the first time to add variety to our garden. Compared to the Contender, which I planted at the same time, these grew extremely slow and were very susceptible to slugs and pill bugs. I ended up pulling the entire crop without getting one good bean pod.
Date published: 2012-08-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Bountiful Beans My beans have been producing for about 2 weeks, plants are beautiful with an abundance of beans.
Date published: 2012-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous Bean Been growing these for 10 years; nothing else comes close. My secret super fast recipe: In pressure cooker, cook one pound or so beans with half-cup water for 2- 3 minutes (after pressure is reached). In meantime, saute a chopped onion and 4 chopped garlic cloves in olive oil until soft. Drain beans and pour in garlic and onions, stir and serve. My oh my! Can hardly wait for summer.
Date published: 2012-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magnificent Bean! These beans are so easy to grow. They and my White Wonder Cucumbers were among the first plants to come up and produce in my garden. They are a constant producer. I have to pick beans every day and I only have a half a row of beans (about 8 feet). The beans are large and flat and grow to a great length (not to mention the flowers are beautiful in the garden). Also since we have limited space it helps that these are bush variety. I planted these close together and didn't thin as someone told me beans are okay with close proximity and mines have done exceptionally well. Talk about tasty! These beans are d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s! The tastiest beans I've ever had and I grew up in the country. Oh and they don't have any strings which is a plus to me. If you're looking for an easy growing, tasty bean, with continuous yield, look no further.
Date published: 2011-06-29
  • 2016-05-27T06:31CST
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