Glycine - Soybean
DESCRIPTION: These plants are commonly known as the Soybean. They are natives of Australia, Africa and Asia. These annuals are tall, upright bushes with roundish, fuzzy leaves and many short, hairy pods that stick closely to the stems. There are home garden varieties chosen for their earlier maturity, shorter height, longer pods and larger beans, which are more numerous. These are better than the adapted grain (dry bean) varieties. Some kinds have roots and foliage that taste sweet. Dry seeds are black or yellow; most black-seeded varieties are adapted to tropical conditions. They are high in fat and protein and must be cooked thoroughly, even when they are immature and green, to make them completely digestible. Soy Beans are used in the preparation of oils, flour, seasoning and sauces. Soybeans make a good warm-weather green manure crop for soil improvement.
POTTING: They should be lightly fed with nitrogen fertilizer or manure and the soil should be inoculated with the proper nitrogen-fixing bacteria to ensure good growth. Even though Soybeans are heat resistant, they won't produce pods if the summers are dry as well as hot. There are varieties available for most climates, except where there are less than 120 relatively warm, frost-free days. When the pods are fully grown and start to turn yellow, they are ready to be picked. The pods should be boiled in salted water for 20 minutes. If the beans are going to be cooked further with meats or other vegetables they should only be cooked for 5 to 10 minutes. Squeeze the boiled pods to pop out the beans. Soak dried beans for several hours and cook for 4 hours to make them digestible.
PROPAGATION: Sow seeds in warm soil in full sun after the spring frost free date. Space the seeds 2 inches apart in double rows or wide bands.
VARIETIES: Early - Maple Arrow; Fiskeby V; Frostbeater; Midseason - Prize; Yellow; Green.
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