Always something new to learn - nitrogen fixing

Suzee

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It’s hard to believe it’s only the end of September and our garden is all wrapped up. We turn the dirt over, weed, and top off with composted goat manure. Then we cover each bed an say “nighty night”. While clearing the pea vines from their spot, I noticed all the little clumps of white nodes on the roots. I don’t know why I never noticed this before. Anyway, trying to avoid a freak-out I went online and confirmed that this is how legumes “fix” the nitrogen back into the soil. Never actually knew HOW this was accomplished. Pretty cool. And, it wasn’t some horrible disease, which is the fear of the raised bed farmer.
 

flowerbug

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to me it is amazing how the plants and bacteria have learned to get along and benefit each other.

what is interesting to me is that plants do not have an organelle in their leaves to directly fix nitrogen (similar to how they currently have the organelle called chloroplasts to fix sunlight into energy). some studies are already out there which show that such a thing would improve plant growth but also make them more efficient in the use of water.

as you grow more varieties of beans and peas you may find some varieties do better at fixing nitrogen and that is because the use of fertilizers and breeding different plant varieties has sometimes reduced the ability to fix nitrogen in the plants. oops. i've found that myself here, some plants do well in many gardens while others don't and one of the factors is root nodulation.
 

Phaedra

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I also learned that the peak nitrogen fixation activity typically occurs during the early stages of growth, before flowering and fruiting. During this period, when the plant is actively growing and establishing itself, it tends to fix the most nitrogen from the atmosphere. Once the plant starts flowering and setting fruit, its energy and resources shift towards reproduction, and nitrogen fixation decreases.

I grow fava beans for their leaves and this purpose. I am not that interested in the beans, but I love the young and tender shoots. As fava beans produce basal shoots very easily, I will harvest the top shoots for ourselves and cut them back before flowering. The stems and older leaves became supplement for chickens, and the plants will stay in a comparatively young stage and keep nitrogen-fixing function going.
 

Suzee

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Electro culture is my new favorite nitrogen/fertility booster @Suzee. I made some veggie records this year with it.
I just had to find out about this so I went to a site named iron cabin:
I was amazed. It seems like a simple method to try and I fully intend to check it out in the spring. Thanks for sharing your success!
 

Alasgun

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to me it is amazing how the plants and bacteria have learned to get along and benefit each other.

what is interesting to me is that plants do not have an organelle in their leaves to directly fix nitrogen (similar to how they currently have the organelle called chloroplasts to fix sunlight into energy). some studies are already out there which show that such a thing would improve plant growth but also make them more efficient in the use of water.

as you grow more varieties of beans and peas you may find some varieties do better at fixing nitrogen and that is because the use of fertilizers and breeding different plant varieties has sometimes reduced the ability to fix nitrogen in the plants. oops. i've found that myself here, some plants do well in many gardens while others don't and one of the factors is root nodulation.
To me, you’re opening line says it all! My version say’s pretty much the same thing. “Microbes function by way of teammates with one teammate unlocking another teammate’s potential”.
 

digitS'

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one teammate unlocking another teammate’s potential
That's something of the way that I think of the relationship between our garden plants and their gardeners :).

We are more than single organisms and they are, as well.

Steve
 

flowerbug

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To me, you’re opening line says it all! My version say’s pretty much the same thing. “Microbes function by way of teammates with one teammate unlocking another teammate’s potential”.

there is plenty of evidence now that the organelles of cells were likely at one time were independent cells in their own right. so the mitochondria and chloroplasts (as two examples) were at one time likely were bacteria that somehow managed to get incorporated into other cells. this shows how life went from more simple forms to more complex and then if you look a bit closer you find that parts of the mitochondria DNA was taken into the DNA of the cell itself so it is also simplifying too. they are competing forces as the larger more complex a cell is the more energy it requires so eventually if there are optimisations that can happen the cell that uses less will win out over those that use more...

life is facinating... :)
 

baymule

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Electro culture is my new favorite nitrogen/fertility booster @Suzee. I made some veggie records this year with it.
I never heard of it.

I just had to find out about this so I went to a site named iron cabin:
I was amazed. It seems like a simple method to try and I fully intend to check it out in the spring. Thanks for sharing your success!
Thanks for this link. I’ll go back and watch all the videos.

For the nodules on legumes, I cut off the vines, leaving the roots to rot over the winter. Maybe I’m wrong, but my thinking is to leave the roots to release all the nitrogen.
 

flowerbug

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I never heard of it.


Thanks for this link. I’ll go back and watch all the videos.

For the nodules on legumes, I cut off the vines, leaving the roots to rot over the winter. Maybe I’m wrong, but my thinking is to leave the roots to release all the nitrogen.

the bacteria and nodules will have some of the nitrogen so for sure don't waste it. :) the soil here being fairly heavy it can take some work to even pull the plants out so i usually will pull what i can and bury those and leave the rest which will eventually rot and become worm food.
 

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