Soybeans are a staple for many people's diets, as they are high in protein. Though most people buy soybeans and their products at the grocery store, they can be grown at home with little fuss or effort. A hardy plant like many other legumes, soybeans are bent on survival and perfect for a beginner or master gardener.
Though soybeans can technically be grown indoors, the ideal growing condition is outdoors so that the yield will be adequate to make it worthwhile. Soybeans, like any other bean or legume, need plenty of room to grow and become fruitful and most people don't want to dedicate such a large space to an indoor garden. However, soybeans are a great vegetable to start indoors in the late winter to have ready to go in the ground once the last frost has passed. This article will explain how to start soybeans indoors and then transfer them outdoors for maximum potential.
Step 1 – Planting the Seeds
You will want to start your soybean seeds about 3 months before the last danger of frost. Purchase a flat of small empty plastic containers from your local nursery for easy planting indoors. Soybeans grow particularly well in sand, so it is best to plant them directly in sand to ensure their good drainage and a strong start. Place 2 to 3 seeds per pot. Place the pots in a safe location with a grow light above them about 1 to 2 feet. Leave the light on 8 to 12 hours per day. Water the plants so that the sand remains damp, but not wet..
Step 2 – Transplanting the Seedlings
When the weather gets warmer, begin taking them outside for a few hours a day so that they can get some natural sunlight. Do not leave them outside overnight or bring them out if it is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When the plants are of a substantial size, transplant them to peat pots and continue growing them under the grow lights until mid-April or whenever the weather is nice. If the weather is nice by mid-April, you can begin leaving the pots out overnight, but do not plant them in the ground yet, as there is still the chance of frost.
Step 3 – Planting Outdoors
Plant the soybeans in your garden after the last chance of frost. You will want to plant two pots to each stake in your garden. Water them thoroughly after transplanting them, and then continue to water them very consistently, but lightly. Once the beans reach 3 or 4 inches in length, they are ready to be harvested and eaten. Be sure to continue harvesting the soybeans when they become mature or the plant will stop producing.
By following these steps and starting your soybeans off strongly indoors, you can ensure that your soybean plants are healthy and ready to produce lots of soybeans for you and your family this summer.