Better Peas And Beans? How Nitrogen Fixing Rhizobium Improves Yield And Soil Organically


hey everybody I’m sure a lot of you
gardeners know that herbs and vegetables require a lot of nitrogen in the soil to
grow delicious nutritious food and did you know that about 78% of the air
around us is nitrogen unfortunately it’s in a gas form and the plants can’t use
it but wouldn’t it be great if we could take the atmospheric nitrogen and have
it available to the plants and furthermore wouldn’t it be even better
if we could take that nitrogen from the plants and have it spread throughout
your soil well if that’s the case and you’d be interested in that then this
videos for you because I am gonna show you how so stay tuned hey everybody
Allen Shaffer at custom garden solutions in today’s exciting episode
we’re going to talk to you about a process called nitrogen fixing and
nitrogen fixing isn’t new but I talk to a lot of gardeners who don’t know a
whole lot about it and certainly it isn’t covered a real lot here on YouTube
so today we’re gonna put an end to that so let’s get started let me explain what
nitrogen fixing means as I mentioned the atmospheric nitrogen that’s around us is
in a gas form and the plants can’t use it in a gas form but if Rhizobium big
word of the day Rhizobium bacteria is available in the soil or present in the
soil or becomes present in the soil by adding a Rhizobium bacteria inoculate
kind of like we’re gonna do today to our peas and beans then nitrogen fixing can
happen not all plants are nitrogen fixers some of the more common ones are
beans and peas and lentils and clover and there’s several others but since
we’re going to be planting some beans and peas for our next episode that’ll be
the focus of today’s conversation here’s a couple images that might help the
Rhizobium bacteria in certain plants like beans and peas have a symbiotic
relationship here’s how it works whereas opium bacteria enters the plant
roots from the soil via root hairs these bacteria colonize the roots of our
legumes and form root nodules they look kind of like bumps on the roots form
from the Rezo beum from their home in the nodules they take nitrogen from the
air and convert it into ammonium that’s a form of nitrogen that plants can use
the plants in return feed the Rhizobium bacteria carbohydrates so basically the
plants get nitrogen from the Rhizobium bacteria and in return they provide the
Rhizobium bacteria carbohydrates this image of the nitrogen life cycle shows
the symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationship with the plant providing
carbohydrates obtained from photosynthesis to the Rhizobium and it’s
in exchange for these carbon sources the Rhizobium provides fixed nitrogen to the
host plant so the bottom line is nitrogen fixing allows beans and peas in
our example to take the nitrogen gas from the air and make it available to
the plants more nitrogen healthier plants but on top of that the nitrogen
that isn’t used by those plants is made available to the soil and to the other
plants in the surrounding area such as peppers or tomatoes for instance even
though those peppers or tomatoes aren’t nitrogen-fixing plants so nitrogen
fixing is a great way to grow beans and peas and other nitrogen-fixing plants at
the same time enriching your soil with nitrogen what a great deal you are
probably asking how do you get ready sodium bacteria into your plants well if
it’s available in your soil you don’t have to do anything in our case we’re
going to use a Rhizobium bacteria inoculant and we’re going to add it to
our seeds so let me show you how we do that how do you get to Rhizobium onto
the seeds first take a bowl or a plate and in this
instance I’m just gonna add a couple seeds cuz I don’t have time to plant
these today and put them in your Bowl then you just need a little bit of an
oculus and if I were to do the whole package seed I might put a teaspoon in
but I literally am only gonna put a little dash of inoculant in because I
only got a few seeds there then add some rain water if you have it because you
don’t want the chlorine or chloramine to kill any of the bacteria if you can help
it otherwise just use tap water I like to form what’s called a slurry to kind
of a mushy consistency for beans and peas let this sit for about an hour you
can do this for several hours if you’d like but I find too much time the seeds
may become too fragile and your seeds may break or crack after 24 hours the
bacteria loses its effectiveness so I just stick with an hour maybe an hour
and a half and to improve the shelf life of your inoculate just keep it in a cool
dry place I’ll put a link to the Rhizobium bacteria inoculant in the
description down below and you can pick that up at amazon recently I heard
somebody suggest that you shouldn’t allow your bean plants or your pea
plants to fruit if you want to nitrogen fix your soil in other words they were
suggesting that you shouldn’t let your bean plants grow beans and your pea
plants girl peas if you want to nitrogen fix your soil and in my experience with
all due respect I don’t think this is 100% accurate last year right where I
stand I had bee plants bean plants growing and right behind me I had pea
plants growing and a long side of them very closely
I had a long row of sweet peppers and I also had sweet peppers growing in rows
farther and farther away from the bean plants and the pea plants what I noticed
towards the end of the season is that the sweet pepper plants closest to the
beans and the peas we’re about 50 percent larger and yield about 50
percent more sweet peppers and I had left the bean plants produce beans and
the pea plants produce Peas now what I might suggest if you want to maximize
the amount of nitrogen fixation of your soil that maybe then you don’t allow
your bean plants to grow peas and your pea plants to grow peas in other words
don’t let them fruit let them grow to the point right before they do that and
then you do something called chopping and dropping so chopping and dropping it
is just cutting the plant down at sorrel level and letting the root system with
all that good nitrogen just decompose into your soil and taking the top half
of the plant above the soil and just dropping that on to the surface of your
soil now you could also do compost that material or I’m a no-till gardener and
that’s a method I believe in and we’ll talk about that more in future episodes
but if if you don’t mind tilling you could also till that plant material
right into your soil and that’s something that they call green manure so
the roots underneath and the top part of the plant that you cut is just called
green manure because it goes back into your soil as nitrogen make sure to check
out the upcoming episodes I’ll be planting peas and beans in addition I’ll
be doing a episode on a homemade trellis that I think you’ll find very
interesting it’s very cheap easy to make and it works great you can check them up
behind me and I’ll also be doing an episode and how to keep the heat
pressure down from your beans and your pea plants by using shading and
placement I’m Allen Shaffer at custom garden
solutions our channel is all about helping you grow herbs and vegetables
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