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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs


Other Common Names Include: Edible Soybean and Vegetable Soybean

Latin Name:  Glycine max

Plant Family: Fabaceae

Close Relatives: Peas

Uses and Markets: Culinary:  Edamame is a vegetable soybean that is harvested at an immature stage.  Beans (either shelled or in the inedible pod) are typically steamed.  Common in Japanese cuisine

A stand of young edamame plants in an Ontario 2010 variety trial.A stand of edamame plants near harvest in an Ontario 2010 variety trailEdamame bean podsShelled edamame beans.

Mechanical harvesting of edamame pods

Production Life Cycle in Ontario


Hardiness Zone


Special Notes

Edamame varieties are not the same as standard field grown soy bean varieties.  Edamame varieties that have grown well in Ontario include Envy and Harronami.  Standard soy bean production practices can be followed for this crop.  See OMAFRA Publication 811, Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.

Propagation method


Greenhouse Seeding/Propagation Dates


Field Seeding Date:

Plant during the first 10 days of May; mid-May to early June.

Field Transplanting Dates


In-row spacing

10-20 cm

Between row spacing

18-75 cm – closer spacing will increase seed yield, but result in smaller pods with fewer seeds per pod, which is less desirable if sold on the plant or as pods.

Optimal Soil temperature at planting

28°C is ideal, but temperatures above 10°C are acceptable.


Conventional soybean varieties are legumes and thus do not require supplemental nitrogen.  However experience with edamame in Ontario indicates that some varieties do not nodulate as well as conventional soybean and therefore additional nitrogen may be beneficial. For detailed nutritional information on conventional soybeans refer to OMAFRA Publication 811, Agronomy Guide for Field Crops. Click here for phosphorus and potassium application guidelines and for more information on specialty crop fertility.

Soil type

Well-drained soils. 

Soil pH


Special requirements for growth habit


Optimal Temperature Range


Temperature sensitivity

Low temperature sensitive.

Irrigation requirements

Irrigation is beneficial under normal Ontario conditions.

Days to harvest

Variety dependentHarvest at the R6 stage, when pods are still green, immature, and tight with fully developed green seeds. 65-120 days.

Specialized equipment:

Green pea harvester.

Harvest Scheduling

Single harvest; successive plantings.

Hand harvest or machine harvest

Edamame can be harvested using the same machinery used to harvest green peas.

Quality parameters/grades

No established grades. Quality is determined by the market.

Additional Harvest Notes

Harvest during cooler parts of the day to reduce moisture loss and cooling costs. Remove field heat as soon as possible after harvest.

Post harvest
Special handling/curing

Chilling beans for 3-10 hours after harvest helps preserve quality.

Storage Conditions

Relative humidity (RH): 90-95%

Temperature: 0-2°C

Air Exchange: N/A

Duration: <1 week

Specific pests observed on this crop in Ontario (observations based on limited experience with this crop)

Insects and Invertebrates: Japanese beetle adults, leafhoppers, soybean aphid, two-spotted spider mite

Diseases: Soybean cyst nematode, downy mildew (Peronospora manshurica), white mould, powdery mildew (Microsphaera diffusa), Septoria brown spot (Septoria glycines), bacterial blight (Pseudomonas syringae)

Other: Sunburn

Other Potential Pests: The following pests have not been observed on this crop in Ontario. However, they are either significant concerns for closely related plants in Ontario, or are reported on this crop in other production areas. This is not a comprehensive list of all potential pests. Not all of these pests will necessarily survive Ontario’s climate, but could potentially survive in a protected environment (e.g. greenhouse, storage facility).

Insects and Invertebrates: Bean leaf beetle, green stink bug, brown stink bug, tarnished plant bug, white grubs (June Beetle, Japanese Beetle), seedcorn maggot, slugs, brown marmorated stink bug

Diseases: Seed Rot/Seedling Blight/Root Rot (Pythium, Phytophthora, Phomopsis, Fusarium, Rhizoctonia), Root Rots (Phytophthora sojae, Rhizoctonia solani), Brown Stem Rot, Stem Canker, Sudden Death Syndrome, Fusarium blight, Asian Soybean Rust (Phakospora pachyrhizi), Soybean Mosaic Virus, Bean Pod Mottle Virus, Frog Eye Leaf Spot, Cercospora Leaf Spot, Purple Seed Stain, Phomopsis Seed Mould

*Indicates pests commonly mentioned as causing significant damage or economic loss to this crop in other regions.


To date the following pests have been the most significant in Ontario: white mould, septoria leaf spot, aphids. Any pest of conventional soybean is a potential pest of edamame.  Early season pests of conventional soybean may be more of a problem on edamame, as this crop is harvested earlier.  For more information on pests of soybean, refer to OMAFRA Publication 811, Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.

Soybean (immature seed) is in Crop Group 6: Legume Vegetables (Succulent or Dried) and subgroup 6A: Edible-Podded Legume Vegetables Subgroup.  For more information on Crop Groups, refer to the Pest section.  Note that not all pest control products registered on conventional soybean are registered on soybean to be harvested for immature seed (edamame).  Always refer to product labels, and follow all directions specified on the label, before applying any pest control product.  For more information, consult an OMAFRA specialist.

Japanese beetle damage to edamameSeptoria leaf spot on edamameBacterial blight on edamameDowny mildew sporulating on underside of edamame leaf

Sunburned edamame leaf

Additional Notes


Ontario Research Projects Used to Create This Profile
  1. Todd, J., D. Lee, J. Persall and E.  Elford.  202009-2010.  On farm edamame variety trials.(unpublished)
  1. Agronomy Guide for Field Crops.  Publication 811.  Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
  2. Born, H.  2006.  Edamame: Vegetable Soybean.  National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service, United States Department of Agriculture.  .
  3. Rowell, B. and T. Coolong.  2009.  Edamame.  University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.  .