Learning Download: Soybeans Growing Instructions

From Seed to Harvest: A beginner’s guide to growing soybeans

Soybeans may not be the most popular plant picked by gardeners to grow in the home garden, and they are oftentimes seen as being grown in large fields by farmers. However, there are many health benefits from soybeans, so maybe consider growing them in your garden.

To plant:

Soybeans are easy to grow and grow very similar to bush beans. Germination can occur in soil temperatures as low as 55 degrees, but the plants prefer 77 degrees. If the soil temperature are cold enough, it will prohibit germination so don’t plant too early.

Keep in mind these plants may not be best for a smaller garden because they do take up lots of space. Each plant reaches 2 feet tall. When planting seeds, plant them 1 inch deep and 2 inches apart and make sure the rows are set 2 feet apart. Germination will take longer than with other plants, as will the maturation process, so a gardener choosing to grow soybeans must be patient. 

Note: be sure not to sow the seeds when the field is wet.

To grow:

Soybeans will tolerate being grown in partial shade but there is evidence that when plants are not grown in full sun, the yields decrease. Soybean plants also require good air circulation because if they are too close together, they may develop white mold. Be sure to continuously weed your garden so the weeds don’t steal energy from the soybeans or transmit diseases and attract pests. Soybeans will tolerate poorer soils, but they are most likely to thrive when planted in rich soil. Once you plant the seeds, don’t water immediately after because if a seed is moist it may crack, which will inhibit the germination of the seed.

To harvest:

Soybeans are ready to be harvest when the pods, also called edamame, are still green. Harvest the beans prior to the pods turning yellow because once the pod turns, the quality of the bean and flavor is not as good. Pick the pods from the plant by hand, but make sure you don’t rip the entire plant out fo the ground.

What soybeans crave:

In order to help your soybean plants along, you may supplement the field or garden with potassium and sulphur, but only do so if the soybean growth and yields are average because these materials can help boost average soybean growth. 

Where to buy soybean seeds:

You can find edamame seeds at Urban Farmer.