How To Grow Soybean

Soybeans have earned themselves quite an excellent reputation over the years, owing to how nutrient-rich they are. Not only are they high in fiber, protein, and calcium, but they also boast of high levels of iron, magnesium and other minerals and vitamins. For this reason, gardeners favor them as one of the best edible legumes to have in the backyard. And that’s not all. These plants are also useful in many a scenario as you can use them for milk, tofu, flour, and other products which makes them great for commercial farming. If you wish to derive the health benefits of soybeans, you can easily do so by planting a few in your outdoors or wooden shed. The great thing about them is that they grow quite quickly if they have adequate access to water, sunlight and nutrient-rich and well-draining soil. Where you get at least three to five months of warm weather, the plants will do great. You can also have them indoors where you can alter the conditions to meet their requirements. Let’s get started on the processes you should follow regarding how to grow soybean:

Seed Selection and Preparation

Did you know that soybeans come in different varieties? As such, you should sample a few of the beans to figure out what you like best and whether the type can grow in your region. Where you plan on consuming the soybeans, you should get those of the green kind. Where you plan on extracting flour or milk from the beans, you should get the yellow variety. Where you wish to dry the soybeans upon harvesting them, you should get the black-seed type. It all depends on what appeals to you and what purpose you have in mind. You can visit the local nursery and have someone weigh in on the issue as well as guide you on the type that will do best in your region.

Soil Selection

Having good soil from the start allows you to prevent erosion and enjoy a balance of pH and nutrients in the ground. It also allows you to avoid issues of waterlogging which are detrimental to the health of your plants’ roots as well as discourages the growth of weeds. In the end, you find that you use less time in caring for the plants and can thus devote this time to doing other things in the outdoors. Also, the yield you get from good soil will be healthy and will allow you to carry out your intended purpose.

Soybeans do well in loam soil that has excellent draining abilities. Additionally, you should till the soil to loosen it as tightly packed dirt impedes the growth of roots which, in turn, reduces the yield that you can get from the plants. Where the soil in your backyard has high levels of clay, you can enhance it by adding sand, mulch, peat moss and other materials that will make it more suitable for the growth of soybeans. In some cases, people opt to buy soil where the soil in play is not suitable for cultivation, and you can keep this in mind as you prepare your ground.

Planting Time Selection

Where you have the beans in the ground by May, you are likely to have higher yields than someone who will place their beans at a later date. However, you should also consider the temperature of the soil during the planting season as it should be about sixty degrees Fahrenheit. The air should also be in the ranges of seventy degrees Fahrenheit. In most cases, you will find that you can enjoy these conditions about two to three weeks after the last frost and having your eye on the forecast will help a great deal with the planting time.

Seedbed Preparation

The key to growing healthy soybeans lies in finding the ideal balance between the nutrients. Where the nutrients are few, the plants will do poorly. And where the nutrients in play are too many, the plants will not thrive. Adding some fertilizer to the ground will help increase the nutrients in the soil, and this should take place in moderation. You can also consider adding some compost or aged manure to the ground.

Inoculation

As with most legumes, nitrogen is of the essence if you plan on enjoying healthy soybeans. One easy way of getting the beans the nitrogen they need is to inoculate them with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. There are many options on the market, and you can engage someone at your local nursery to help you with this decision. You can also look up online stores to see what is available. Once you get the right product for your soybeans, place your beans in a bucket and use the bacteria on them, mixing the beans with a spade to ensure that they are well-coated. Ensure that the seeds remain out of direct sunlight for the next twenty-four hours to enable the bacteria to set in.

Sowing

You can now plant the seeds at least one and a half inches below the ground, ensuring that the beans are at least three inches apart. The rows should have at least thirty inches in between as this will reduce competition for nutrients and will thus enable the plants to grow healthy. Once you cover the beans with a layer of soil, proceed to water the ground until it is moist, but not wet. Overwatering of the seeds can lead to cracking of the beans.

Aftercare

Where the plants are outside, you will have to take measures to keep animals away from your garden. One common culprit, in this case, is the rabbit which will devour your soybean shoots. The best way to go about this is to have a fence around the crops, and you can use chicken wire, premade panels or metal rings to create a barrier.

When the soybeans establish themselves, you need to thin them out by removing the weak seedlings to make room for the healthy plants. The thinning should be at the ground level as this will ensure that you do not disturb the roots which will be delicate at this time.

The soybeans will start maturing towards the end of September and having mulched, watered and weeded the plants; you should enjoy a bountiful harvest. Good luck!

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