Learn how to grow edamame in this complete growing guide. Growing edamame is very easy and doesn’t involve any special treatment.
Edamame is immature and green form of soy. It’s a highly nutritious, protein rich valuable edible plant you can grow in your garden. These soybean pods are harvested young for use in snacks and recipes or grown to a full-fledged soybeans for tofu and other soy products.
USDA Zones — 4 – 11
Propagation Method — Seeds
Difficulty — Easy
Soil pH — 6 – 7.5
Other names— Baby soybean, sweet bean, vegetable soybean, garden soybean, immature soybean, edible soybean, green soybean, beer bean, Japanese soy, fresh soybean
Edamame grows in hot and humid environment. Their growing season lasts for several months from spring to summer, before the pods are harvested. Soybeans do not germinate easily when the soil is too cool. Wait until the soil temperature reaches 55 to 65 F in the spring before planting. Seeds germinate potentially when temperature remains in range of 60 to 90 F.
If you’re living in tropics you can grow it year round except summer. Sow edamame seeds right after the summer when temperature comes down in range of 60 – 90 F ( 15 C – 32 C), although soybean can easily tolerate temperature up to 104 F once grown but reduce production in intense heat.
Grow soybean variety that is grown locally or suitable to your climate. There are about 10,000 cultivars of soybeans of which varieties with green seeds flavor better and are suitable for growing as edamame. There are varieties with yellow and black seeds, which can also be grown but these are mostly grown for drying out for later use in floor, milk and other products.
Growing and Planting Edamame from Seeds
Don’t soak seeds before planting. Sow seeds at a depth of 1 inch, leaving space of 2 inches within rows while spacing the rows 20 to 30 inches apart.
Requirements for Growing Edamame
For growing edamame choose a spot that is sunny. Soybean plants require full but also tolerate partial shade.
Edamame tolerates poor soil but for optimum growth it must be planted in soil that is fertile, loose and well drained and rich in organic matter. Add lot of compost or farm manure in soil to improve it. Cold, wet and waterlogged soil inhibit germination and growth so avoid it. To ensure the aeration, plow it before planting. Soil pH around 6.0 to 7.5 is ideal.
Water your edamame plants to keep the soil evenly moist, regular watering is essential but if it’s raining don’t water.
Add fertilizer that is rich in potassium and phosphorous. Like other legumes soybean plant is able to get some of its own nitrogen so it’s better to provide additional nitrogen fertilizer only when you see yellowing leaves, especially in the early stages of development.
Do mulching with organic matter, it keeps the soil moist that is essential when you’re growing edamame.
Generally edamame takes 75 to 110 days to mature. Optimum time to harvest is when the pods are plump and edamame beans are almost touching them. They should appear bright green, without any signs of yellowness.
The best taste can be around for only a few days, so pay particular attention when approaching harvest time. Remove the pods individually or cut the whole plant at once.
Pests and Diseases
Soybean is rather a pest and disease free plant unless it’s grown in very hot and humid climate or when it’s grown in wet soil, where it suffers from several fungal diseases.
Also Read: How to Grow Cluster Beans