Let the Pollination Begin!
The soybeans are starting to fill out and begin the process of pollination. So, I'll admit it, I was not actually aware that soybeans had purple flowers until this year. To my credit, the flowers are hid within the bush by leaves and are fairly small. But pull back the leaves and reveal the stem of the plant and you can see the tiny little purple flowers that will, eventually, turn into pods and soybeans.
|Can you spot the tiny little purple flowers?|
In July, August and September, the plants bloom. The flowers are small and vary from a white to a beautiful violet or purple. From these blossoms, the soybean plant grows small pods that contain the young seeds. The soybean is a self-pollinating plant, which means that each flower has male and female parts. A single plant can produce seed and essentially clone itself. Soybean plants produce many more flowers than they need, so many flowers never produce pods.
|The flowers will eventually turn into the pods where the soybeans|
Unfortunately, it has not been the best year for soybeans here. Summer has been cool and wet. Those weather conditions are definitely not ideal for soybeans. When the soil gets damp and the temperature stays cool, they react by slowing down growth.
On the other hand, the corn is doing very, very well this year. Passing by so many of our corn fields is fun because they look so uniform, strong, and tall. Although corn benefits from hot days, all the rain has been beneficial.
|Too bad I'm not covering our corn|
crop this year -- it looks AWESOME!