How to Grow Soybeans

Tree Branch

Growing soybeans has become increasingly popular with home gardeners. These warm-weather plants are native to Africa, Asia, and Australia. Soybean seeds are gaining popularity here, due to their health benefits. 

Soybean seeds are high in fiber, protein, and nutrition. Soybeans are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, and contain high levels of Calcium and Iron. Perhaps best of all, they taste good, too.

Home gardeners find it is easy to grow soybeans. Soybean plants are grown just like any other bush bean and produce high yields.

Planting Soybean Seeds

Plant seeds outdoors after the last frost date for your area. Soil should be warm before planting.

Sow Soybean seeds 2 inches apart, in rows 20″ to 24″ apart.  If your garden space is limited, plant the seeds in double rows. Water well after planting, and a second time two to four days later, only if there has been no rain. Side dress the rows with general-purpose fertilizer during planting.

How to Grow Soybeans

Soybean plants are easy to grow. They grow best in full sun and warm weather. They prefer rich soil, high in nitrogen. Soil should be kept moist for optimum growth.

The plants grow best in rich soil. Add manure and compost before planting. Fertilizer regularly during the growth period.

Harvest the beans when the pods are full.

Did you know? Soybean plants are rich in nutrients. After the harvest put plants into the compost pile, or turn them into your soil.   

Ideal soil pH: 6.0 – 7.0   More on soil pH

Thin seedlings to the proper distance, as noted on the seed packet. If there are no directions, space plants three inches apart in rows three feet apart.

Also, see:

Plant Problems

Soil Temperatures – Ideal germination temperature by vegetable.

Insects and Pests

Like other beans, soybeans are susceptible to a variety of insects, most notably beetles. They can be treated with Sevin and many organic repellents.

Rabbits eat the tender new leaves. If there are rabbits in your area, a rabbit fence is not a nicety, it is a necessity. They will devastate a row of beans in a hurry, eating the tender new leaves. As new ones develop, they will come back for more.

Plant Disease

Bacterial and wilt diseases are common among the Bean family. This plant disease arrives with summer heat and humidity. This often occurs just before, or during, the ripening of the crop. Fungicides are recommended in areas of high heat and humidity.

Plant Problems – Diagnosis, causes, and cures for many common plant problems.

How to Grow Soybeans - Harvest Time

Days to Maturity: Soybean plants require about 85 days to harvest.

Try succession planting, for continuous harvest over several weeks.

Plant Hardiness

Soybeans are not a hardy plant. They are susceptible to cold and frost. Hold off planting until a few days before all danger of frost is past. In the fall, cover the crop on nights when the temperature is expected to go below 40 degrees.

Cooking Soybeans

The beans are edible. The pods are not edible.

Boil bean in lightly salted water for 4-5 minutes to blanch, or 20 minutes to fully cook. Then, discard the pods after removing the beans.  The beans can be frozen after blanching, then heated in the microwave later, for a quick, nutritious snack. Also, the beans can be frozen or canned.

If you’re growing healthy soybeans, chances are, you’ll enjoy making your own soy milk and tofu.

How to Make Soy Milk and Tofu

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