Soybeans are one of the most versatile of crops. While they have been grown for some time as a possible alternative fuel source, they are finally being recognized for their nutritional value. As meat prices continue to rise, alternative sources of protein-rich food are being turned to—and soybeans fit the bill. Let’s explore some of the special growing conditions needed for soybeans in your hydroponic garden.
One of the first things necessary when growing soybeans is to inoculate them with special nitrogen-fixing bacteria. This is used to allow the beans to absorb nitrogen more readily. You dust the seeds with this special solution before planting. These inoculates come in both powder and liquid form. Fungicide treatments applied to seed before planting are designed to protect the plants from root rot diseases. Many fungicide treatments can be mixed with inoculation materials and applied at the same time.
Soybeans grow like many other beans, vining and needing some sort of structure to support them. Construct a support system in your hydroponic growing area by running a line from one end of the area to another. When this is done, provide lines from each plant upward to the main line. This will enable your soybeans to grow upward, providing more space for plants and allowing bottom growth to obtain enough light. Soybeans need a great deal of light to produce flowers, which will then become your soybeans. Without enough light, your plants will not flower.
While soybeans need a great deal of light, they do not like either high temperatures or great humidity. The growing environment would be ideal if it stays around sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Humidity in the hydroponic growing area also needs to be kept low to prevent causing your soybeans to rot.
A growing medium such as a peat/vermiculite blend is best for your soybean crop. You may also want to consider placing pebbles at the bottom of your growing container, as they prefer a well-drained medium that allows the roots plenty of room to breath.
Soybeans are an excellent choice for the hydroponic gardener. Provide them with a growing medium that drains well, plenty of light and a pre-treatment with a special nitrogen-fixing inoculate and you will soon have one of the most versatile crops available.
Finally, to help ensure your soybeans get the best nutrition possible, you should check out the seven best-kept secrets of hydroponics and subscribe to the Advanced Nutrients newsletter at http://www.advancednutrients.com/newsletter/. Advanced Nutrients is the world’s foremost supplier of hydroponic nutrients to discriminating growers everywhere.