Edamame Seeds Available

jimster(z7a MA)July 6, 2006

If you are interested in growing soy beans for edamame, check out the link below to the National Soybean Research Laboratory. It has lots of information and an offer for free seed, which I took advantage of and am now growing.


Here is a link that might be useful: Edamame Seeds

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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Thanks, Jimster. Too late for me to plant this year, but I will request seed for next season.

The NSRL link is a good beginners guide to soybeans. Lots of good soybean info... including a partial U.S. map (the eastern half) showing recommended USDA soybean maturity types.

It also confirms that well-nodulated soybeans do not require N fertilizer, which I am likely to quote frequently. :-)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 1:37AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

"It also confirms that well-nodulated soybeans do not require N fertilizer, which I am likely to quote frequently. :-)"

OK. Here's your first opportunity. The photo is a view looking down on one of my soybean plants. It shows a few distinct phases of leaf growth. The new leaves are dark green at the veins, but bright yellow-green between the veins. After they've been open a while, the leaves become darker green and eventually are a uniform allover green.

Does this indicate:

a. Normal progress of leaf development. No need to do anything.

b. Borderline nitrogen deficiency. Application of N is called for.

BTW, I'm not eager to pull one of my plants to check nodulation, although in the interests of science I could.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 8:55PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Jimster, I am assuming that you have used soybean inoculant this year, or that it is present in your soil from previous applications.

According to info on the NSRL website under "Planting, growing, and harvesting soybeans", the nodules take up to 3 weeks before they are producing sufficient N for the plant's needs. Presumably, periods of below-normal soil temperatures could further retard nodule development.

Meanwhile, there could be a temporary deficiency... but you have also had a lot of rain in your location, and the yellowing may be chlorosis caused by the recent lack of sunlight. I estimate the plants in the photo to be about 4 weeks old, so both of the previous conditions may apply. As long as the leaves appear to be "greening up" now, it should not be cause for concern.

The gap between emergence & full nodule development is probably why the Wisconsin Ag. Extension recommends that farmers use a moderate application of N fertilizer for plants in the field. Either that, or a chemical company representative sits on their board...

Personally, I have never found a need to fertilize soybeans. I sprinkle inoculant (at a heavy dosage) into the row when I plant, and the plants are healthy. If anything, too healthy! In garden culture, with irrigation, I believe the use of fertilizer for soybeans (or any other inoculated legume) to be counter-productive.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 11:27PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Just ate a bowlful of edamame, frozen ones, in the pod, from the store. Mmmm! Couldn't wait for mine to mature. It won't be long now though. Then I will reap my reward for gardening.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 5:02PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I am trying an experiment this year, with soybean transplants. Varieties in Maturity Group 000 - II (24 varieties total, 12 cells each) were planted in plastic 6-packs.

The MatGrp II & 1/2 of the MatGrp I were started 14 days prior to their normal planting date; the remainder of the MatGrp I (which made up over 50% of the trial) and the MatGrp 0 - 000 were started 7 days later.

All transplants were put out in mid-June, and seed was direct-seeded in each row at the same time for comparison.

The experiment is still underway, and upon completion will be posted in the "Experiments" forum. But I mention it now because the MatGrp 000 transplants (the earliest) reached edamame stage August 10, by far the earliest edamame I have ever grown! So the experiment has already proven that soybean transplants are successful, and can significantly accelerate soybean maturity in short-season areas.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2006 at 7:14PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Just following up... Jim, how did your "Gardensoy" soybeans perform for you? Which numbers did you request? Have you been able to get dry seed?

I looked again at the varieties offered, and will probably request -12, -21, or -24 for my trials next year. My choices are limited to MatGrp II & below for my climate (and MatGrp II is iffy)... you may have considerably more latitude, depending upon the total heat units for summer in your area.

Speaking of you having more latitude... the USDA announced this year that they had discovered two "hypo-allergenic" soybeans in their collection. These lack the protein that is mostly responsible for human soy allergies. Apparently, this was the result of a comprehensive analysis of their over 30,000 cultivars - an enormous project. Well, to make a long story short, the two accessions are both MatGrp IV... too late for my climate, but perhaps not for you, and certainly OK for Gardenlad. Just an FYI... email me if you wish more info.

My own trials are drawing to a close - first frost could be as early as tomorrow. I will post the results on this thread once all the dry seed has been harvested, and the data collated.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2006 at 2:14AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I didn't specify varieties when I requested seed. They sent one packet of each. I will be growing these for a few years. :-)

I planted Gardensoy 01 and Gardensoy 24. Gardensoy 01 was totally eaten by voles before I harvested it, so I can't report on quality. Gardensoy 24 came in right on schedule and I harvested it except for a few pods I left to ripen for seed. Both grew well. There are two possibilities as to why the voles didn't get the second crop. Gardensoy 24 is taller. Perhaps the voles did get the lower pods but, higher up they were not touched. Or, perhaps I harvested more promptly.

Gardensoy 24 was good. They were just like the commercial frozen varieties I buy. Lots of pods had three seeds and the size was fine. I've eaten all of them while watching football. They were not as productive as I expected. But then, I lost a large part of my crop to voles.

I gave Gardensoy 02 and Gardensoy 42 to a friend, but I haven't checked with her to see if they were a success.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 3:59PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Another year, and new soybean trials. As promised, I requested two varieties this year, Gardensoys -12 & -24. I made the request via email, and received confirmation that they will be sent. Dr. Bernard also informed me that these are not protected varieties, so seed saved from them can be shared freely.

This is a great opportunity for gardeners to participate in breeding research; the developers of the Gardensoy line are sincerely interested in receiving your opinions on their new varieties.

Incidentally, the NSRL address coincides with that of the USDA-ARS National Soybean Research Center. They are very closely affiliated.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2007 at 6:54PM
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carress(z6 NY)

I asked for some via emailMonday, but no word yet..


    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 5:15PM
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If this means free edamame, it's a great find.

Sent an email request for Gardensoy #02 and 23. I'm hoping to hear back from Dr. Bernard in the name of science.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 3:24AM
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I think I'll order some, too, and see how they do in West Michigan. Cloudier here than, well, most of the rest of the country (except Seattle), but mild. As long as the turkey and deer don't get them, should be a good experiment.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2007 at 10:56AM
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carress(z6 NY)

I got mine in the mail about a week ago. I can't wait to plant em!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2007 at 1:13PM
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crabjoe(z7 MD)

Folks, when you requested the seeds, did you get a reply saying they were on there way or anything? I requested some last week and haven't heard a peep as to whether they were going to send me any.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 2:47PM
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crabjoe(z7 MD)

Just an update, I got the seeds today in the mail. I just asked for any seeds they might have available and they sent me around 10 packages of seeds. Being that it's way more then I expected, I'm going to give have to my parents to plant to see how well they do for them. Plus, they like Soy beans way more then me.

I'm one happy camper.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2007 at 11:28PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Mine came today also. My guess is that since the seeds are probably stored in a controlled environment, they hold the orders & send many at once. I am looking forward to testing them - if Winter ever lets up! Several inches of new snow outside as I write this.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2007 at 12:14AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

I requested some and received them promptly....

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 3:36PM
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Planted Gardensoy 12 on 5/31 (used fresh inoculant). Healthy plants in bloom. (Haven't checked for pods). More later....

Gardensoy 02 planted on 6/3/07. Now healthy plants w/immature pods plus many flowers. Good sunny spot.

This summer has seen lots of sun (but few days above 90 degrees F) and very little rain.

Thank you Jimster for the information and U of Illinois for the seeds!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2007 at 11:58PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I was searching for an earlier soybean post, and realized that I never posted the results of my trial last year.

"Gardensoy 24" did well for me. I planted the seed 3-4" apart, in two rows 30" apart. The plants grew to a little over 24" tall, with few branches. They stood up well to wind & rain; the few that were knocked down righted themselves by the time the seed was maturing. This was somewhat late, at 110 days for edamame / 125 days dry. Pod set was surprisingly good, considering the lack of branching. The seeds at edamame stage were large & exceptionally fat, and had good flavor. I would rank them as "very large" for size, and "good" for flavor & texture.

Since the plants are mostly vertical & tend not to lodge, this might be a good candidate for wide-row plantings. "Gardensoy 24" would fit in well as the late variety, in a succession plan of several varieties with different maturities.

"Gardensoy 12" was disappointing. While its maturity & height were listed as comparable to "Gardensoy 24", I found it to be much inferior. The plants seemed to be very disease-prone, with over 1/2 of the row infected to some degree. Many did not set seed. While the stems appeared to be hardier than GS-24, they were more susceptible to lodging, with very few plants remaining vertical. The maturity, despite the nearly-identical listings for the two, was much later. Only a late frost permitted me to harvest dry seed.

The edamame I was able to harvest was variable in size, from very large to medium. From observations of the few healthy plants, GS-12 seems to have the potential to perform better, and might even out-yield GS-24... but it did not prosper in my location. Given that I have many edamame soy cultivars that are earlier & more reliable, I will not grow it again.

For those who received others of the Gardensoy line, could you share your observations of last year? Be sure share this info with Dr. Bernard at the NSRL as well.

The soybean seed is still available from NSRL at the link in Jimster's first post. Probably too late for many to plant this year... still, it was worth a "bump".

    Bookmark   June 6, 2008 at 9:41PM
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I e-mailed Dr. Bernard Monday and got the seeds today. Wow! I have #1, #2, #11, and #12.

Any of these suitable for a planting around 7/15? I can start the seeds now, if you think this is feasible.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:19PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

You meant 6/15 didn't you? Or did you mean starting in pots and setting out around 7/15?

I'm not absolutely sure but I think you could plant them now and get a crop. I'm an advocate of direct seeding beans.


    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:55PM
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Hi Jim--I would start them now, but will have no room for them until 7/15. Happens to me every year, running out of space.

Oh wait--what is left of my first lettuce should be bolting soon--I can pick what is left & put them in there :D

Thanks for the advice...

Of the 4 varieties, which do you think would do best late? Oh, what the hey--I will plant a few of each and find out :D

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:06PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Susan, the Gardensoy -1 & -2 are the earliest, and if you intend to plant some soybeans late, would probably be the best choices for that. -11 & -12 take longer to mature, and should be planted immediately if you want dry seed, whether directly or in plastic cells. All of them should give you a crop of edamame if planted by the end of the month.

I hope you have better luck with -12 than I did; for me, it took much longer to ripen than the NSRL data indicated. If you can only plant one early, that is the one I would recommend. It has the largest seeds of all the varieties they sent you.

Alas, no soybeans for me this year. Continuous (and often heavy!) rains have thus far prevented me from planting. While I hope to (eventually?) get some snap beans in, there will not be enough time for any seed crops. :-(

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 5:16PM
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Zeedman--I am so sorry! As a preservationist, that has to really be upsetting to you. I hope the weather lets up so you can at least plant some beans to enjoy, if not seed crops.

I will try #1 this weekend, if it is dry emough to plant anything. We got some heavy rain yesterday, and it is sprinking now. Might have to wait until Mon/Tues to get seed out.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 11:01AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Well, I went looking for this thread to refer Jimster's link to someone, so I thought I might as well bump it up for this year.

An update to my previous post... the weather last year did dry out in time for me to get in some soybeans; 4 varieties for seed, 4 for edamame. The edamame crop was larger than normal, since many of my regular crops didn't get planted. There were (5) 27-foot rows. They did very well, I froze enough edamame to last me through the winter.

Some of the dry soybeans I've collected are really beautiful, not the plain yellow of commercial varieties. I've been wanting to post photos, if I can find a way to post thumbnails here. Might just use the technique that Synergy Seeds used several years ago for their soybeans... put them in small ziplocks side-by-side on a color copier. ;-)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 4:14AM
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dallasgreen(7 Tx)

Thanks for the link and all the great comments/observations on your trials; I'm very excited to try growing edamame.
I put in a request just now and look forward to hearing back; will try to post to let you know if I get them.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 11:02PM
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Thanks for the info - i requested seeds last monday and no response yet.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 3:23PM
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Cool! I just requested some, we'll see if they're still available. I suppose it is too late in the season to try growing them this year, but perhaps if he sends me the ones with the shortest growing season I might still try a few plants.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 12:30PM
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crabjoe(z7 MD)

Anyone know if they still have the free seeds program? I looked over their site and couldn't find any link to request them.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 3:58AM
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Try this website


Close to the bottom of the page there is a section titled:

University of Illinois: GardenSoy variety samples available

Click on Theresa Herman. This is her email address. I requested seeds last year and received two different kinds.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 4:53AM
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spacetogrow(4 MN)

I sent an e-mail to Theresa Herman maybe a couple of months ago, and the seeds came in the mail yesterday. Now I don't know if they will get planted this year because I got edamame seed from 2 other sources in the meantime.

Too many seeds; not enough garden. What a terrible problem!lol

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 2:01PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"Too many seeds; not enough garden. What a terrible problem!lol"

Sounds like it's time to kill some grass. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 1:08AM
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spacetogrow(4 MN)

If you take that mindset too far, a 12-step program may be in order!

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:41PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Hi, my name is Chris, and I have a bean problem.

Bean there, tried that. The others in "the program" kept sending me more beans. I confess I wasn't helping them much either. (lol)

So I figured I'd better get outside help. Went to a tomato forum, found out their addiction is much worse than mine... and decided maybe beans aren't so bad after all. ;-)

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 8:34AM
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jimster(z7a MA)


You are an honest guy, Chris. Much truth in what you said.

Tomatoes are OK, but quite boring in comparison to beans. How many times does "What is the best tasting tomato?" need to be posted?


    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:18PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Thought I'd revive this thread, to remind everyone that the NSRL seed program is still active.

I requested "Gardensoy 12" again, since my first two trials were destroyed by disease and bad weather, respectively. (Pretty unusual, that was the only time I've ever had two consecutive crop failures for a given soybean.) It showed promise before being wiped out by disease, so I am looking forward to comparing it to other edamame cultivars this year.

The NSRL also sent me - unsolicited - two samples of "Gardensoy 24". I have no need for them, since I have already grown "Gardensoy 24" several times & have a fairly large seed stock. I would be happy to send those samples to two people who will (a) save seeds, and (b) report their observations to the NSRL (I will enclose a copy of their feedback form). If interested, contact me by email via my member page.

Anyone else who is interested can request seed from the link below; scroll down to the email link for Theresa Herman. It's worth noting that a few of the Gardensoy line are adapted to mid-South & Southern latitudes of the U.S. Since most commercial varieties are bred for Northern gardens, these long-season cultivars might be especially useful to those in mid-Illinois & points South.

Here is a link that might be useful: NSRL Gardensoy edamame

    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 1:11AM
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Thank you zeedman for the heads-up. I haven't been able to find edamame seeds in local stores. When I lived in China, fresh edamames were a common vegetable which I dearly miss today. Podded edamames are yummy boiled in salted water, just like fresh peanuts in shells.


    Bookmark   June 2, 2014 at 4:07PM
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