How to Grow Edamame – A Beginner’s Guide

edamame plant growing in garden
Edamame, which are known botanically as Glycine max, are a type of vegetable that can easily be grown at home. Continue reading to learn the basics of growing edamame as well as common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Best Time to Plant Edamame

This will depend largely on your local climate, but as a rule of thumb, begin to plant the edamame seeds after the last danger of frost in spring. This is the best time to ensure that the seedlings survive the weather.

To check when edamame are most likely to thrive in your area, see the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. If you live outside the US, do a quick search for ‘plant hardiness zone + [city]’.

How to Plant Edamame the Right Way

There are a number of things to consider that will help you avoid some of the common mistakes of growing edamame in your home garden.

Often overlooked, your soil can have a huge impact on how well your edamame grow. Generally, your soil should be well-drained and fertile. Soil PH levels should be around 6.0 to 6.5.

12-18″ apart in rows 3-4 feet apart. 3″ apart in rows 18-24″ apart. The seeds should be sowed at a depth of about 1-2″. For each plant, be sure to sow at least a few seeds to ensure that at least one of them will germinate.

Begin thinning your edamame seedlings 4-6″ apart when seedlings are 2-4″ tall.

How Much Sunlight is Needed to Grow Edamame

The amount of sunlight is another key to a successful harvest. Too much sunlight will dry out your edamame. Not enough sunlight will stunt your its growth or even kill it.

Ideally, your edamame should be getting full sun, which means as much sunlight as you can possibly give it, or at least 6 hours or more.

How Much to Water Edamame

As you’ve figured by now, a lot can have an impact on how well your edamame do, and the amount of water is no different.

Ideally, the soil should be damp to touch; not soggy or bone dry. If the leaves on your edamame begin to change colors or start to look droopy, you need to adjust how much water you’re giving it.

Unfortunately, if you give it too much or too little water, you can kill it, so it’s best to just keep an eye on it and water as needed.

How Long Does it Take Edamame to Germinate and Grow?

Now the fun part begins and you get to watch your edamame grow.

It takes approximately 7-14 days to germinate, and a total of 90-100 days from seed to harvest.

When to Harvest Edamame

The best time to harvest your edamame is when pods are plump and firm.

Edamame can grow up to about 2-3″ long pods.

What Can Edamame Be Used For?

Food Use: great for snacking, salads, and stir-fries

Flavor Profile: buttery, slightly sweet, and nutty.

Can Edamame Grow in Pots and Containers?

Yes, you can plant up to 2 plants per 12″ container. This can help control weeds and keep your plant from growing out of control.

It also gives you the flexibility to move your edamame around if you need to adjust sunlight or bring it indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions.

Are Edamame Safe for Bees?

Yes, edamame are safe for bees.

According to, bees pollinate human food crops that make up about 90% of the world’s nutrition.

Given their importance in our ecosystem and food supply, I feel it is important to note that growing edamame is bee-friendly.

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