Soybeans are some of the most nutritious beans available, used in soups, salads and as whole dishes. Cooks commonly use soybean sprouts in cooking, while vegetarians enjoy a wide range of soy products as meat alternatives. Growing this slow crop requires patience, nutrition and certain considerations.
Soybeans require soil temperatures of 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit to successfully germinate, and do best in healthy, workable soil according to the National Soybean Research Laboratory.
The National Soybean Research Laboratory goes on to suggest that soil fertility is one of the most important aspects of soybean growing. Gardeners should mix plenty of organic compost into the into soil to increase nutrition for the beans from the start.
Soybeans require nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, sulfur and micronutrients like zinc, iron and manganese. Gardeners should test their soil for these nutrients, and feed soybeans a fertilizer that provides anything their soil lacks. Soybeans prefer acidity in both soil and fertilizers.
All vegetables require at least one feeding during their growing season. Gardeners should prepare their soil with compost and then feed the soybeans at the start of their blooming period, to encourage bean pod production.
According to the North Carolina Producers Association, soybeans are extremely vulnerable to pests. This is especially true when bean growth thrives with fertilizer. The site also states that weeds can grow more quickly than soybeans, and may choke young plants out. Soybean farmers must always follow strict pest control and weeding procedures.