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Soybeans

The soil and cultural requirements and methods of growing soybeans are essentially the same as for bush forms of common beans. Soybeans, however, are slower growing than most garden beans, requiring 3 to 5 months for maturity, and warmer weather. They also are taller growing, the larger, later varieties requiring a greater distance between rows than dwarf snap beans. 

Small, early varieties may be planted in rows as close as 2 feet, but the larger, later ones require 3 feet between rows. The planting dates given in tables 4 and 5 are for midseason varieties (about 120 days), neither the earliest nor the latest kinds. Differences in time of development among varieties are so great that the gardener must choose the proper variety and know its time of maturity in making plans for planting in any particular locality.

In cooler sections the rate of development will be slower. Only the early varieties should be grown in the more northerly States, and the medium or late varieties in the South. Plantings should be made principally when tomatoes and other long-season, warm-weather crops are put in the garden.

For use as a green vegetable, soybean pods should be harvested when the seeds are fully grown but before the pods turn yellow. Most varieties produce beans in usable condition over a period of a week to 10 days. The green beans are difficult to remove from the pods unless the pods are boiled or steamed 4 to 5 minutes, after which they are easily shelled.

The yields per unit area of land are about the same as are usually obtained with peas and are thus less than can be obtained with many other vegetables. On this account, they appear of major interest only to gardeners having medium to large gardens.

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