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Growing Soybeans
Edamame or soybeans are a warm weather crop that make for a great side dish.  I grow soybeans as a second crop in a summer rotation. These warm weather plants are native to Africa, Asia, and Australia. They are increasingly popular with gardeners due to their health benefits. They are high in f
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iber and protein, and area good source of calcium.  Soybeans need to be planted when the weather has warmed and in soil rich in nitrogen and organic matter. The plants, depending on the variety grow 12 to 36 inches tall.  I find it fascinating that the stems and leaves are hairy. The flowers are white with lavender shading and there are usually 2-4 beans in each pod. Pods grow 1 to 4 inches long in clusters of three to five. There are more than 10,000 soybean cultivars. Colors range from black to gray, brown, green, yellow, white, and striped. Seeds can be smaller than a pea or as large as a kidney bean.
If you are testing your soils PH, which you should, look for a PH from 6.0 to 6.8 for ideal growing conditions Research has shown interesting results when planting the widths of rows as follows: 7.5″, 15″, twin-row, and 30″.  Yields were not statistically different for the 7.5-inch, 15-inch, and twin row spacing row widths. The 30-inch row soybean spacing treatment was statistically lowest among the row width treatments.  Bottom line plant close and maximize your space.
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