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BUSH BEAN, Roma II – Phaseolus vulgaris
FULL SUN Native to the Americas, beans were one of the great gifts to the Old World from the New World where they had been cultivated for 10,000 years. Snap beans are meant to be “snapped” from the plant and eaten fresh or steamed. Perhaps the most famous of the Italian, flat-podded snap beans, Roma II produces high yields of 6 in., very flavorful pods.
Plant in late spring after danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed to a depth of 6 in. If planting in rows, keep rows 2 ft. apart.
When seedlings are 2 in. high, thin, leaving 4 – 6 in. between plants. Beans prefer a light, loamy soil that has been lightly fertilized.
|Type||Spacing||Planting Depth||Days to Germination||Maturity|
|Bush, snap||4-6 in.||1 1/2 in.||7-10||55|
Bean cultivation can be traced to the earliest vestiges of human civilization. Beans may have been the first vegetables that mankind learned to cultivate. Fava beans have been found in Neolithic excavations in Switzerland. Chickpeas, favas and lentils have been found in Egyptian tombs, and the Chinese started growing soybeans around 1500 BC. However, many of the beans that we are familiar with today, like the common or kidney, lima and runner bean came from the Americas and were not introduced into Europe until the time of Christopher Columbus. The oldest archaeological evidence of common beans in the New World comes from Tehuacan, Mexico and has been radiocarbon dated to 7000 BC.
Snap beans are a diverse group of beans that are variously known as common or kidney beans, Haricots, French beans, garden beans and filet beans. These are the beans which Columbus and Cortez discovered in the New World and introduced into Europe where they became wildly popular. The term ‘snap’ is not a scientific term. It refers to how the beans are used. They are ‘snapped” from the vine to be eaten fresh or ‘snapped’ in half before being steamed. These beans are eaten in the pod. Snap beans come in just about every color imaginable including white, buff, pink, green and black. The bush varieties form compact 12 to 18 inch plants. The pole varieties produce vines which can grow to 10-14 feet.
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