The Q&A Archives: Growing Green Soy Beans

Question: I am trying to grow green soy beans in a Southerm California beach town. I want to eat them like I do at the sushi bar! The seeds came up great but the bottom leaves of the starts have begun to turn yellow and then brown and then wither up and fall off. Too much water? Not enough? Do I need to add a soil amendment?

Answer: Could be one of four possibilities. 1) Damping off -- not uncommon in direct sown situations, this disease, which is a complex of fungi and bacteria, attacks seedlings, causing rotting, yellowing, and wilting. If only the lower leaves yellow, it'snot this. 2) Lack of inoculant -- soybeans, as with all legumes, require a bacterial inoculant . These special bacteria grow with the roots of the plant and make the nitrogen that other kinds of plants ordinarily get directly from the soil. Without the bacteria, legumes cannot make nitrogen and show signs of serious nitrogen deficiency: yellowing. Check out our Bean and Pea Booster (page 63 of our catalog). If only the lower leaves yellow, it's not this. 3) You didn't tell me if you seeded them direct or in small pots for transplanting to the garden later. If you seeded in small pots, soybeans will not be happy. 4) Too much water.

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