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legumes

 
Posts: 12
Location: Southeast NC coastal plains
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Any advise on summer time legumes for a sandy acid soil for coastal plains in zone 8? I want a good green manure and n fixing legume for summertime. Thanks, joe
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11277
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I've been looking at the native Wild Indigo Baptisia species as possible support legumes for my gardens, though I have seeds I've not yet grown any.

Here are recommended native plant sources for North Carolina: http://ncbg.unc.edu/recommended-sources-of-native-plants/
 
pollinator
Posts: 1518
Location: northern California
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I had great luck when I lived in GA with cowpeas....particularly an old vining landrace type with small hard black seeds. The seeds actually needed to be nicked and soaked to get them to come up reliably after planting, but that also means the ones you miss at harvest will volunteer for years. This stuff is like an annual kudzu....growing up and over everything in it's path and making vines 10-20 feet long.
 
joe choi
Posts: 12
Location: Southeast NC coastal plains
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Good to know, sounds like good forage for my chickens! Are there trees that grow here that are legumes?
 
Alder Burns
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Posts: 1518
Location: northern California
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One of the best tree legumes for your region is the common mimosa (Albizzia julibrissin), though it's commonly regarded as an invasive. It does not spread from root suckers nearly as aggressively as Black Locust (Robinia) which would be another contender. Plus the locust twigs are spiny. Mimosa casts a thin filtered shade which is ideal for nursing other young plants through the hot summers. It can be relatively short-lived in the South....I think there is a disease or several which get it sooner or later. But seeds are easy to start....nick and soak overnight, and the young plants, even in pots, usually form nodules on their own. Both locust and mimosa coppice readily and could be used for chop-and-drop (though the locust is prickly). There is also a second, larger, less aggressive mimosa relative (A. kalkora) which is starting to run wild in NC....I think maybe near one of the college towns where there is an arboretum? There are other native legumes (honey locust, redbud, coffeetree, yellowwood, etc) but their nodulating and nitrogen-fixing capabilities are still under research as far as I know. Last I read honeylocust was pretty mediocre. But mimosa and black fix vigorously.
 
joe choi
Posts: 12
Location: Southeast NC coastal plains
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Thanks Alder, i will research those plants.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Posts: 11277
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Mimosa may be edible: http://www.eattheweeds.com/albizia-julibrissin-tripinnated-lunch-2/
 
Posts: 409
Location: Portlandish, Oregon
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Pfaf also lists them as an edible. http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Albizia+julibrissin
 
Posts: 135
Location: Sunset Zone 27, Florida
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have you tried growing peanuts? my plants have done very well through the hot summer. surprisingly few pest problems too.
we have planted cowpeas and black turtle beans (both from the grocery store) in our fall garden. they are both vigorous and beautiful, and making tasty green beans as we speak.
 
Posts: 67
Location: north texas 7b now 8a
fish fungi trees
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I am in zone 8 and use all the above. as well as pigeon peas. Oklahoma game pea is a cowpea similar to the first post and can be bought in bulk for about the same price as white dutch clover. Will also be trying Astragulas this spring (perennial, 4', root harvested 3rd year, awesome medicinal) and licorice in the moister areas. Other perennial legumes with fodder capabilities are bush clover (lespedeza bicolor), illinois bundleweed (possible edible), Lab lab (another lespedeza species). Hope this helps
 
joe choi
Posts: 12
Location: Southeast NC coastal plains
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Will Black locus grow in sandy acid soils, I'm in coastal plains sandy soils? We do have lots of native red buds here, so they will definitely be incorporated.
 
gardener
Posts: 357
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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Amorpha Fruticosa would work well too, it is a native woody shrub with pretty flowers and is often found stabilizing river banks.
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1518
Location: northern California
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The real home of Black Locust is further north and west, trees in the Appalachian mountains can get huge. In the deep South it's more of a thicket-former. I imagine it might appreciate water the first summer to get established. I have seen it guilding naturally with the smaller running bamboo....the combination making for a nearly impenetrable thicket. As long as you don't expect a big tree, it will grow well down into FL.
Don't forget the Redbud flowers are edible!
 
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