Soy Beans

ft2judy(8B)June 2, 2010

This is the first year that I've planted soy beans in my raised garden. So far, they've bloomed and have small pods on the plants. I would like to eat them as edamame (the pods boiled in salt water). I know that the pods still have to be green when I harvest and the pods should be full. Just wondering if anyone else has grown them for this?

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Hopefully you planted edamame (edible soybean). I don't think you will like regular soybeans that way.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 11:47AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Yes. I've grown them for edamame. There are several threads about edamame on this forum which you can find by doing a search.

You seem to have the right idea about growing, harvesting and cooking them. Any particular issues on your mind?


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 11:50AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

P.S. I should have mentioned to search on 'edamame'. I think that will give you more hits than 'soy'.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2010 at 11:52AM
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Well, I try to grow some every year. But, it's a real struggle to get any, because every creature that eats plant matter loves the taste of soybean plants.

I'm always envious of the acres upon acres of soybeans grown in the more rural areas of Michigan. I guess when you have acres, there are enough for both the farmer and the wildlife. In my yard with just a small number of plants, the wildlife usually wins.

I'm going to do mine in the barrel planters along the front side of my greenhouse, not TOO many critters get in there, although last year the woodchuck decimated my spring salad crops planted in the barrels. Then, I decimated the woodchuck (well, he went for a long ride to greener pastures).

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 11:38AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"But, it's a real struggle to get any, because every creature that eats plant matter loves the taste of soybean plants."

Denninmi isn't kidding. Even if you have never had trouble with bunnies, you will when you plant soybeans. They will pass up all other vegetables to eat them. In various years, I've had voles, chipmunks, and deer go after them. Only a tall fence (to keep out deer) wrapped low with chicken wire, has been successful... and a pesky groundhog even dug under that for two years before I trapped it.

That being said... provided that you can keep out the critters, edamame soybeans are as easy to grow as bush beans. Simple to save seed from too, since they seldom cross. As Farmerdilla mentioned, the varieties bred for use as edamame will give the best results, with larger, tastier, more tender beans than field soybeans.

You can harvest soybeans for edamame as soon as the seeds inside have fattened up. Soybeans tend to ripen all at once, so when the desired stage has been reached (taste test every 2-3 days), all plants in the row should be pulled & harvested. For me, the best indicator is when the first leaves in the row (or patch) begin to turn yellow, and a few pods have begun to change color.

Once you've eaten fresh-picked edamame, you'll probably want to grow it regularly.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 8:28AM
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Actually, I've got some great big (20") wire hanging baskets with the moss liners. I'm thinking about planting some of these up in soy beans and hooking them up to drip with a water timer. I can hang them in full sun over my patio on shephard's hooks right next to the house where I don't think any animal will get them.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 9:27AM
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Too true about the bunnies. Two years ago, that was the *only* thing out of my garden that the bunnies ate. They even ignored other bean plants. They'd rather have those. I got one pod. One.

Unfortunately for my garden, I have a soft spot for them (I own one as a pet), so I let them have the soy beans so long as they didn't eat anything else, and last year put up a better fence. lol

    Bookmark   June 4, 2010 at 1:45PM
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