Edamame is easy and reliable to grow, but wait until weather warms before planting; cold and/or wet conditions prevent good germination. If first sowing comes up unevenly, replant right away; new seedlings catch up quickly. Be sure to thin to final 6 inch spacing for best pod production. Birds are often attracted to young seedlings, so watch carefully and protect with netting or floating row cover if necessary. Avoid cultivating plants when wet.
HARVEST AND USE
As edamame ripen, the beans swell in the pods. Pick promptly when pods are plump and beans are almost touching each other inside the pods but before the pods turn yellow. When ripe, harvest is concentrated over a short period. To prepare: cook unopened pods in a large pot of boiling salted water for 2 to 4 minutes or just until the beans in pods are tender. Drain and serve hot or cold, sprinkled with coarse salt to taste.