Agate Soybean (Organic)
Seed Count: Approx. 15 Seeds
Days to Maturity: 65-70
Bush variety, snap/dry bean
Description: Agate soybeans are a delicious Japanese soybean heirloom that got introduced to the US in the 1920s. The pods are olive green and produces lots of olive green seeds with brown shoulders. These beans are a bush variety, and grows up to 2 feet tall, but are super productive for their small size. The agate soybean is also an early maturing, short season favorite, known for its buttery flavor. This soybean is great for home growers that want to grow their own organic edamame, or you can let the pods mature and dry to make your own organic soy milk and tofu. Due to its dwarf nature, this plant also makes for a great contain variety! Fun Fact: did you know that edamame is a complete protein source, and is the only vegetable that contains all nine essential amino acids?
How To Grow
Sowing: Sow in average soil, in a sunny location, after the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees, as seeds may rot in cooler soils. Sow seeds 3 inches apart, and about 1-2 inches deep. For a continuous crop sow new seeds every two weeks. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days depending on soil and weather conditions. Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart, in all directions, when they are about 1-2" high. Beans do great companion planted with beets, marigolds, carrots, celery, swiss chard, corn, cucumbers, peas, potatoes, strawberry, radishes and cabbage.
Growing: In dry weather, keep soil well watered. Plants need about 2-3 inches of water per week during the growing season. Make sure foliage has time to dry in order to reduce disease. Soybeans can suffer from powdery mildew, leaf blight, root rot, and other bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, and deer can be serious pests for this plant so keep them protected. These beans grow in a bush habit and should not need support, but I do sometimes provide support once they get filled with beans, if I notice them falling over.
Harvesting: Soybeans are ready to harvest for edamame when the pods are still tender, bright green, plump, and about 2-3 inches long. To harvest mature dry beans, wait until the plants are fully dry, the pods are dry and brittle, and the seeds are hard. If frost or rainy weather conditions threaten, pull the plants, and dry in a cool, dry place indoors. Beans should be completely dry 10-15 days later. Remove the seeds from the pods by hand. The thin coats of soybeans can be prone to cracking and the embryos are easily damaged, so be careful when threshing the dry seeds. Store your seeds in a cool, dry place, and in an airtight container. They will remain viable for up to 3-4 years.