How to Plant and Grow Soybeans

What You'll Need
soybean seeds
stakes or trellis

Soybeans are quickly becoming a staple crop amongst home gardeners. Rich in vital nutrients like protein, calcium and fiber, these easy-to-grow vegetables work well in stirfrys, as a side dish or just as a snack. Read this quick overview to find out how you too can grow delicious soybeans in your very own backyard.

Step 1 – Prepare You Planting Area

After the last chance of frost in your area, you will want to prepare your planting area for your soybeans.

Work the soil in your garden so that it is broken up and not compressed down. Mix compost or an organic fertilizer in with your soil to increase your soybean’s growth performance. Pick a spot in your garden for your soybeans and make sure that it will receive 8 to 10 hours of direct sunlight. If not, choose a spot that will.

Step 2 – Plant the Seeds

After determining how many soybean plants you would like, create rows for them 20 inches to 24 inches apart. You will then sow the seeds 2 inches deep and 4 to 5 inches apart in these rows. Cover the seeds and gently press down to firm up the soil. Water the seeds well directly after planting and then again 2 to 4 days later if it has not rained. Going forward, water the soybeans once a week, but only is there has been less than 2 inches of rainfall on that particular week. Be sure to water the plants at their roots and not the leaves to lessen the risk of a fungal disease.

Step 3 – Stake the Bushes

Once your soybean plants take off, they will get significantly bushy. They also have a tendency to flop over and fall down. If you have limited space or want a neat looking garden, use stakes around the edges of the plants to prop them up on. Use string or twine between a couple of stakes to create a “wall” to lay the soybeans on.

Step 4 – Harvest the Soybeans

Mature in just 85 days, soybeans will be ready to harvest before you know it. Pull the pods from the plant and steam or boil them for about 8 minutes. Eat as a snack with salt topping them, or throw them into a stirfy, soup or pasta dish. If you have an abundant harvest and can’t keep up eating them, blanch them in boiling water (shelled or not) for 3 minutes, freeze in a single layer and pack into plastic bags for long term storage in a freezer.

Adding this low maintenance, high performance crop to your garden will be a great addition this year. Plant in succession from 2 to 6 weeks apart for a continual yield all summer long and begin thinking about how you will use all the delicious soybeans you have grown.