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Glycine max
BEAN-SOYBEAN EDAMAME is an edible soybean, called Edamame in Japan & Mao Dou in China and is a typically eaten when young and green before they ripen or harden.  It has become increasingly popular as a highly nutritious snack and delicious ingredient in many dishes.  Edamame has been a staple in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisines for centuries.
These vibrant green pods are rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any diet.  Edamame is often enjoyed steamed or boiled
(for 5 to 10 minutes) and lightly salted after cooling under running water.  It is eaten by squeezing the seeds from the fibrous pods.  Such a versatile ingredient, it can also be incorporated into salads, stir-fries, and soups.
These plants thrive in warm climates (
best in temperate & subtropical climates) and requires minimal care, once sprouted, making them an excellent choice for home gardeners.  However they can be temperamental to sprout.   See tips below.

This seed is unlikely to do well south of Sydney. It germinates best at 20 – 25°C soil temperature; do not over-water, as the seed rots easily.  Propagation Powder and Inoculant is included with every packet of Edamame seeds.

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How to Grow Edamame (Edible Soybeans)

  1. Select a spot in your garden that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  2. Ensure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Amend the soil with compost to improve fertility and structure.
  3. Plant heritage edamame seeds 2.5-3 cm (1-1.5 inches) deep and 10 cm (4 inches) apart in rows spaced 60 cm (24 inches) apart.
  4. Keep the soil moist, but not drenched as these seeds are prone to rot from overwatering.  Once sprouted you can keep them watered during flowering and pod development. Water deeply once a week, or more frequently in dry conditions.
  5. Edamame grows best in temperatures between 18-30°C (65-85°F). Protect young plants from unexpected frost by using row covers if necessary.
  6. Use a balanced fertiliser at planting time and then side-dress with compost or a low-nitrogen fertiliser when the plants start to flower.
  7. Keep the garden bed free of weeds to reduce competition for nutrients and water. Apply a layer of mulch around the plants to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
  8. Edamame is ready to harvest when the pods are plump and bright green, typically 70-90 days after planting. To harvest, simply cut the entire plant at the base and then remove the pods.
  9. Monitor for common pests such as aphids and beetles, and use organic pest control methods if needed. Rotate crops annually to prevent soil-borne diseases.

Some additional growing tips for Edamame

  1. Inoculation with Rhizobia Bacteria: Edamame, like other legumes, can benefit significantly from being inoculated with Rhizobia bacteria. This symbiotic relationship allows the plant to fix nitrogen from the air into the soil, enhancing growth and pod production.  Rhizobia inoculant specific to soybeans is included with your order
  2. Pre-Soaking Seeds: This can improve germination rates, if you soak the seeds in warm water for 6-12 hours before planting. It is said to soften the seed coat and speed up the germination process.   I personally find this rots the seed but it will work in certain circumstnaces so you may need to test different methods to find out what works in your garden. 
  3. Peta’s Tip: Peta works for the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mt Cootha.  If you live in Brisbane her talks are brilliant and free. Just join the Brisbane City Council mailing list for all their talks. I personally recommend Peta’s talks.  She is a treasure trove of information for growing all kinds of things in Brisbane.    Here is her peas, beans and soy bean tip….
      • If you soak the seeds plant them into dry propagation mix.
      • Is you don’t soak the seeds plant them into well watered propagation mix.
      • Try both methods and see which one works best in your garden.  But remember that overwatering may rot the seed.  And I always recommend you check your climate temperature in your area and your soil temp as well as pH.  Three important must do’s.
  4. Companion Planting: Planting edamame alongside certain companion plants can help deter pests and improve growth. Good companions include corn, cucumbers, and potatoes, which can help create a microclimate that benefits edamame.
  5. Shade Management: While edamame prefers full sun, in extremely hot climates, some afternoon shade can help prevent stress and heat damage. Use shade cloths or strategically plant taller crops nearby to provide partial shade during the hottest part of the day.
  6. Soil pH Management: Edamame prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0-7.0). Test your soil’s pH and amend it with lime to raise the pH or sulfur to lower it, if necessary, to create the optimal growing environment.
  7. Protection from Birds: Birds can be a significant problem, particularly when the seeds are first sown and during the pod development stage. Use bird netting or reflective tape to keep birds from damaging your crops.
  8. Foliar Feeding: In addition to regular fertilization, foliar feeding with a seaweed or fish emulsion spray can provide essential micronutrients directly to the plant leaves. Apply this every 2-3 weeks during the growing season for a nutrient boost.
  9. Monitoring for Heat Stress: Edamame plants can suffer from heat stress in extremely hot climates. Look for signs such as leaf curling or wilting. If you notice these signs, increase watering and consider using mulch to help retain soil moisture.
  10. Harvest Timing: The timing of the harvest can significantly impact the flavor and texture of edamame. Pods should be harvested when they are plump but still bright green. If left too long, they can become tough and less flavorful. Taste a few pods to determine the best harvest time.
  11. Timing for Successive Plantings: For a continuous harvest throughout the season, consider successive plantings every 2-3 weeks. This staggered planting ensures you have fresh edamame available over a longer period.

Heritage of Edamame Soy Beans

Edamame has a rich heritage that dates back to ancient agricultural practices in East Asia, particularly in China and Japan. The earliest records of edamame cultivation can be traced back over 2,000 years in China, where it was valued for its nutritional benefits and versatility as a food source. Ancient Chinese texts mention the use of soybeans as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BCE). In Japan, edamame was first documented in the Heian Period (794-1185 AD), and it has been a staple in Japanese cuisine ever since. The beans were often used in ceremonies and as offerings in temples, reflecting their cultural significance.

Edamame was revered not only for its nutritional benefits but also for its role in sustainable farming practices. The plant’s ability to fix nitrogen in the soil made it an essential crop in traditional crop rotation systems, improving soil fertility for subsequent plantings. This sustainability aspect contributed to its widespread cultivation and consumption in East Asia. Over the centuries, edamame has remained a popular ingredient in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean cuisines, often enjoyed fresh as a snack or incorporated into a variety of dishes. Today, edamame continues to be celebrated for its health benefits and its deep-rooted cultural significance.

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Category Colour Guide
Planting Guide for Australia

Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Plant Height (cm)

60-90 cm (2-3 feet)

Season of Interest

Summer to early Autumn

Temperature Range (°C)

18-30°C (65-85°F)

Determine / Indeterminate

Annual / Perennial / Biennial


Frost Hardy / Tender


Full Sun / Part Sun / Shade

Full Sun

Sow Direct / Raise Seedlings

Sow Direct


Well-drained, fertile soil rich in organic matter



Soil Temperature (°C)

18-24°C (65-75°F)

Seed Preparation

See additional growing tip above. Step 2 and 3

Sowing Depth (mm)

2.5-3 cm (1-1.5 inches)

Plant Spacing (cm)

10 cm (4 inches)

Row spacing (cm)

60 cm (24 inches)


Keep soil moist but not drenched, water deeply once a week

Germination Time (Days)

7-14 days

Harvest Time (Days)

70-90 days

Good Companion Plants

Corn, Cucumbers, Potatoes, Radishes, Carrots, Strawberries

Bad Companion Plants

Alliums (Garlic, Onions), Fennel, Brassicas (Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale)


Aphids. Bean Beetles, Cutworms, Spider Mites, Japanese Beetles


Root Rot, Soybean Rust, Powdery Mildew, Bacterial Blight, Mosaic Virus

More About Us

ABSeeds is an Australian owned business trading under the umbrella of Direct Compost Solutions which is owned and managed by Victoria Brun.

We as a company endeavor to provide to the public, Organic, Old Fashioned, Heritage, and Open-pollinated seeds that have not been genetically modified.

We purchased the business in November 2018 and renamed it to ABSeeds (All ‘Bout Seeds) to make the title shorter and represent what we hope to achieve with this business in the years ahead.

Seeds that we can’t grow ourselves we will acquire from people who grow for us, or we may purchase seeds from reputable heritage seed companies.

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