Soy beans, or edamame, are one of the tastiest beans you can grow in your Garden. In today’s episode, we will show you everything from planting soybeans and harvesting them to a delicious edamame recipe.
There are two ways to start soybeans: from seed packets or from transplants. For seeds, you can sow them when the weather is warm enough for soybeans to grow. Spring, summer, and fall are the best times for them to grow. When starting from seeds, you can sow six to eight seeds in one whiskey barrel container. The soil we have is a mix of compost peat moss and perlite. After sowing the seeds, make sure you water well.
The other way to grow soybeans is from transplants. You can buy six-pack starter plants at your local nurseries and then plant them. Buying transplants for soybeans saves you a lot of time compared to growing from seeds. Once again, we are growing this in a whiskey barrel container, and we are planting six plants in one barrel. This container is 22 inches wide and 15 inches tall, and holds about two and a half cubic feet of soil. Our planting mix already has a good mix of organic nutrients in the soil, and we will be using an organic liquid fertilizer and some worm tea every two weeks as the plant grows. Once planted, make sure to water well so that the roots can settle into their new home.
Soybeans grow best in temperatures of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit. In a few weeks from planting, we encountered two problems: insects and diseases. The plant had problems with caterpillars spider mites, as they all love the soybean plant. There was also a fungal disease called rust which the soybean plant is very prone to. What you can do to try and avoid this is use neem oil, which is an insecticide and a fungicide to stop rust and insect damage. It’s also a miticide, which means it can stop spider mites. A generous drenching of diluted neem oil on the tops and bottoms of the leaves weekly will give some respite to these soybean plants.
Soybeans grow in full sun, so choose a nice sunny spot with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight for your soybeans. We are transplanting six more soybean plants into this raised bed, which receives a lot of sunlight. After a few days, the rust and spider mites were still an issue with our soybeans.
About two months after we transplanted our seedlings, the soybeans began forming pods, and within these pods are the actual soybeans or edamame. When harvesting, remove the entire pods. The biggest advantage of growing soybeans at home is that they are non-GMO, so they are much better for your health compared to commercially grown soybeans. They are also very delicious and boast a sizable harvest.
Remember to fertilize your soybean plants with a good organic liquid fertilizer and worm tea for good results. We got a lot of soybeans for the size of the plants we had. The soybean plants growing in our raised beds also gave us some soybeans, but you can see the plant had no vigor despite us providing all the nutrients as well as protection from insects and diseases. Inside the pods are the soybeans that you can eat, whether it be raw, steamed, or cooked. Once the plants have completed producing their pods for harvest, you can go ahead and remove the plants. The soybean plant has roots that are relatively shallow which means that you can grow them in shallow containers. Soybean plants fix nitrogen in the soil, as they have bacteria in their roots that fix nitrogen from the air and make it available for the plant to use. Since these plants had fungal diseases, we did not compost these plants.
For our harvested soy beans, we are preparing air-fried edamame. First we take the soybeans whole with the pods in a bowl. Then, we add some salt – I usually use Himalayan salt, but this time I used sea salt. Add in a little bit of oil, which will be actually absorbed by the edamame which gives it a very nice flavor and helps the salt stick to the pods. Next, set the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for about 15-20 minutes, tossing them around the halfway mark. Soybean dishes are actually called edamame, because in Japanese the term edamame means stem beans, or the preparation where beans are still attached to the pod when cooking. We cook in the pods because they protect the soy beans from overcooking, and these home grown soybeans will be one of the best tasting soybeans you will ever eat. Soybeans are packed with protein and are a very important part of a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet. You can also steam your soybeans and add a little salt for a delicious dish. Growing soybeans is one of the best summer treats from your garden, so I highly recommend that you try growing soybeans this season.
Watch the full video at How To Grow Soybeans or Edamame – Soya Bean Farming, Growing Tips & Recipe