- Good variety for Edamame
- Bushy plants up to 80cm producing multiple branches with white flowers and short furry pods. Native to East Asia this popular legume variety is a staple food and also used to produce soy milk, flour & tofu, or can fermented to make soy sauce. Soybeans must be cooked and shelled prior to eating, they are popular picked young and boiled in salted water to create Edamame. Can be eaten steamed or boiled, pods are inedible. Great for subtropical locations. Also called soya bean or soja bean.
When to Plant Soybeans
Growing soybeans need a long, hot growing season to thrive and they don’t like exposure to frost. They should be direct-sown when the soil has warmed and there’s no longer a chance of frost on the horizon. Germination is quick, as with other bean types.
Direct Sowing Soy Bean
Add compost to the intended planting area and direct sow the seeds. Like other types of beans, soybeans don’t do well when transplanted because of their shallow roots. Put beans in the ground 2-3 weeks after the last frost date, when soil temperatures are about 16°C. Plant seeds at a depth of 25 to 50mm.
Spacing for Soy Bean
Space beans about 8 to 15cminches away from one another with 60cm between rows. If you’re using the square foot gardening method, plant 9 per square foot.
Soybeans have a similar growth habit to bush beans, so there’s no caging or staking required. Some gardeners may prefer to provide support, however, especially those living in windy areas.
Caring for Soybeans
Wondering what to do once your soybean seedlings have sprouted? Here are some care tips to help you out.
Protect Growing Soybeans
If there’s one thing you need to know about growing soybeans, it’s to keep them warm. If you have a random occurrence of frost after planting, use frost covers to protect your soybeans. Don’t leave them exposed, they’ll suffer if they experience a frost.
Watering soy bean
Regular watering is important for beans. Giving the plants even amounts of water is especially vital once your soybeans begin to produce flowers and pods.
Mulching helps keep the soil warm, conserves moisture, and reduces weed growth, so go ahead and mulch the base of your soybean plants.
Take care when weeding soybeans. Remember that beans don’t enjoy being transplanted. Why? Their roots are shallow and don’t take well to being disturbed. Aggressive weeding is likely to mess with plant roots.
There’s no need to feed your soybeans with nitrogen-based fertilizers once they’re planted. Just make sure to amend your planting area with compost prior to sowing, and again at mid-season.
Beans, in general, are an ideal crop to succession sow. Soybeans are no exception. Stagger your sowings for a continuous harvest of fresh pods. You’ll need to keep your plantings fairly close together since soybeans require a long hot growth period. Wait a week or two after your first sowing and plant another set of seeds.
Avoid growing soybeans where you’ve sown any beans the year previous to avoid spreading disease.
Soybeans are typically picked when immature and the beans are not yet wholly dry inside the pod, 70-160 days after planting. Size is a good indicator of when it’s time to pick edamame. Once the pods are a few inches long and somewhat plump, it’s okay to harvest. Just make sure the pods are a little chubby. Otherwise, you may pick pods that are empty, without any beans inside. If you want to make a soy product like tofu, you’ll need to let the pods mature fully before picking so you can harvest the dry beans. Wait for leaves to turn yellow and pods to brown. At that point, the seeds will be dry and ready for storage. Edamame pods will keep for about a week in a well-sealed container in the fridge. You can also freeze soybeans. Just be sure to blanch the pods first. You can save dry beans for up to a year. They can also be saved for sowing in the next year.
Always cook edamame before snacking. The beans should not be eaten raw.