Help: vining edamame

knitter320July 23, 2008

I am growing edamame this year. From everything I have read they are supposed to be bush beans. I am growing in two different areas that I planted at two different times. In one area they are growing like I assume they are supposed to- two feet little bushes (with the cutest little edamame). The stalks are thickish and strong and don't need to be supported. In the other area they are long and leggy, were draped on the ground and I noticed that two of them had started creeping up to the top of a tomato cage. So yesterday I put up a trellis and they are having a ball. Is this normal? why did this happen? How high will they grow and will I get edamame (already have flowers on them). Any help would be appreciated

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jimster(z7a MA)

Are both areas planted with the same variety?

Are all the trellised ones spiraling around the supports in the same direction? This question has to do with the thread "How do pole beans climb?".


Here is a link that might be useful: How do pole beans climb?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 7:54PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Commercial edamame soybeans are erect bushes, usually around 2 feet in height. There are field soybeans that are 4-5 feet tall (not available retail), and some that lodge (fall over) and tend to grow trailing. I even have a few that I would call "semi-vining" which will twist weakly around other plants... but to my knowledge there are no climbing edamame soybeans.

However, their habit can be influenced by light & plant spacing. Edamame soybeans prefer full sun and optimal spacing of about 6" apart. Given that, they will be short, stout, and well-branched. If crowded, and/or grown in partial or complete shade, they will be taller, with fewer branches. The stems will be weaker & may even topple, so they would require support to remain upright. I have grown some soybeans next to pole beans that acted this way.

My guess is that the taller ones are growing in partial shade, or behind taller crops. If they already have flowers, you should get some pods. If they are really twining around supports, please post some photos!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2008 at 11:30PM
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I agree with comment made by zeedman in the last paragraph
of his posting.Lack of enough light will make the beans viney and leggy.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 3:45PM
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Ok- I just went out to check again- they are both the same variety- from Johnny's seeds- the sunlight is great- they are in my vegetable garden patch that gets at least a full 8 hours of sun daily. They are spaced very closely together though- I am embarrassed to say how closely. They are flowering. Several of them have independently worked their way up a circular tomatoe cage and are at the top- without any help. The rest of them are also in the vegetable garden but a couple of feet away and i put in a pea trellis a couple of days ago and they are working their way up- one is at the top. Very very strange!

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 4:02PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

"...they are both the same variety- from Johnny's seeds..."

If that variety is "Butterbean", you should have some good edamame. It was actually the first variety that I grew, and I was very pleased with it. I crowded them a little the first year (about 2" apart on average), but still had a pretty good crop. I noticed that a few solitary plants, where seeds had failed to germinate around them, were much healthier. When I widened the spacing to 3-4" the following year, the plants were shorter, better branched, and had more pods. They bear even more heavily, and have better pod fill, at 6".

What a journey "Butterbean" started... soybeans now make up the largest part of my seed collection, and I can't imagine a year without lots of edamame.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2008 at 5:32PM
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