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How to Grow Edamame

Edamame is a popular Japanese snack. Grow your own delicious and nutritious crop by following these simple directions.

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edamame is picked when beans are young and tender
  • Time

    Several Months

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Highlights:

Step 1: Purchase the Seeds

Unlike other beans, which grow on both bushes and climbing vines, all edamame beans are low-growing bush beans. Popular varieties include Black Pearl, Sayamusume and Midori Giant.

Step 2: Prepare the Site

Edamame do best in full-sun locations with well-drained soil that has plenty of organic matter. Raised-bed gardens make great sites. The bean plants grow best in a slightly acidic soil with a pH range of about 6.0 to 6.5. Work organic matter into the garden bed to improve the soil's texture and fertilize with 05-10-10 fertilizer.

if soil has too much clay consider other mediums

Step 3: Prepare the Seeds

Moisten the bean seeds with a spray of water then sprinkle soybean inoculant powder on top. The powder is a special type of beneficial bacteria that helps beans pull nitrogen out of the air and transfer it to their roots.

beneficial bacteria added to soybean seeds

Step 4: Plant the Seeds

Edamame won't germinate until the soil is warm enough, so wait until soil temps reach at least 60 degrees. Plant seeds 1" deep, spacing them 3" apart in rows. Cover with soil and water well. Keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate.

test the ph of soil before planting soybeans

Step 5: Cultivate the Plants

After the beans sprout spread mulch around their base, being careful not to let the mulch touch the stems of the plants. Bean plants need about 1" of water per week. Pull any weeds that sprout by hand, but never work around bean plants when they're wet as this can spread disease. Pests are not a major problem with edamame, but keep an eye out for aphids and leaf beetles.

mexican bean beetles feed on underside of leaves

Step 6: Harvest the Edamame

All the beans on a single edamame plant mature at the same time. When the beans are almost touching one another inside the pod, and the raw beans taste mild and sweet, the edamame is ready to harvest. The easiest way to harvest them is to pull the entire plant then pick off the pods.

pick beans at peak of perfection

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