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Nitrogen Fixing Soil Bacterial Inoculants  RSS feed

 
Jose Reymondez
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Location: Galicia, Spain Zone 9
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Anyone know a good place to order inoculant in Europe?
 
David Buchan
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Jose Reymondez wrote:Anyone know a good place to order inoculant in Europe?


What do you want/need to inoculate? Are you sure it is necessary? (Many leguminous plants do not necessarily need to be inoculated, as rhizobium bacteria have been present in many soils for millions of years )
 
Katy Whitby-last
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www.legumetechnology.co.uk do a range of innoculants.
 
Lynn Stein
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I'm reviving this old thread in hopes of getting some help with a confusion I have. I live in Italy and have made a tiny little Lasagna garden, in which I hope to grow peas (with some green leafies) this next spring, and later, after growing brassica during cold season, put Nitrogen fixing green manure plants the following spring. Nitrogen fixing bacteria Inoculants are not available here in Italy (and the UK company mentioned by the previous poster sells only huge farm-appropriate quantities and does not sell via internet). I think I understand that the reason these are not widely sold in Europe, as they are in the US, is because vetches, wild peas, wild medicago and wild clover grow spontaneously here, and so the appropriate nitrogen fixing bacteria are already present in the soil. (Is that the reason? Maybe not- since there IS this one company in England making them) Problem is, I won't be planting into good old Italian soil, but into a compost pocket made in my probably still decomposing "lasagna". I didn't put any native dirt in my "lasagna", just alfalfa, straw, green herbacous plant leaves, finished vegetable compost, and a bit of organc soy flour, seaweed flakes, and rock dust. So-- the nitrogen fixing Rhizobium won't be present. (right?) Would it work if, instead of planting into a compost pocket in the lasagna. I filled the pocket with a mix of dirt from my yard and compost? In my yard, which I have always left to grow spontaneous plants, I have seen wild vetches and wild medicago, but I don't think I've seen wild peas or clovers. (so would I still have a problem if I want to plant peas or clover and have then fix abundant nitrogen?) Also, I was thinking to sow the peas under cover, in toilet paper tubes, since I have tons of snails and slugs that would eat the sprouts, so I thought I'd sow in a seed sowing medium. But maybe for peas that isn't necessary, and I could sow in the cardboard tubes filed with native dirt and compost mix? or maybe just fill the cardboard sowing containers with yard dirt, to have greater concentration of any rhizobium nitrogen fixers that may be there?
 
Katy Whitby-last
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Shira, I phoned them and they sold me a small quantity by mail order
 
Lynn Stein
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Oh! Thanks!!!
 
David Buchan
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Lynn Stein wrote:I'm reviving this old thread in hopes of getting some help with a confusion I have. I live in Italy and have made a tiny little Lasagna garden, in which I hope to grow peas (with some green leafies) this next spring, and later, after growing brassica during cold season, put Nitrogen fixing green manure plants the following spring. Nitrogen fixing bacteria Inoculants are not available here in Italy (and the UK company mentioned by the previous poster sells only huge farm-appropriate quantities and does not sell via internet). I think I understand that the reason these are not widely sold in Europe, as they are in the US, is because vetches, wild peas, wild medicago and wild clover grow spontaneously here, and so the appropriate nitrogen fixing bacteria are already present in the soil. (Is that the reason? Maybe not- since there IS this one company in England making them) Problem is, I won't be planting into good old Italian soil, but into a compost pocket made in my probably still decomposing "lasagna". I didn't put any native dirt in my "lasagna", just alfalfa, straw, green herbacous plant leaves, finished vegetable compost, and a bit of organc soy flour, seaweed flakes, and rock dust. So-- the nitrogen fixing Rhizobium won't be present. (right?) Would it work if, instead of planting into a compost pocket in the lasagna. I filled the pocket with a mix of dirt from my yard and compost? In my yard, which I have always left to grow spontaneous plants, I have seen wild vetches and wild medicago, but I don't think I've seen wild peas or clovers. (so would I still have a problem if I want to plant peas or clover and have then fix abundant nitrogen?) Also, I was thinking to sow the peas under cover, in toilet paper tubes, since I have tons of snails and slugs that would eat the sprouts, so I thought I'd sow in a seed sowing medium. But maybe for peas that isn't necessary, and I could sow in the cardboard tubes filed with native dirt and compost mix? or maybe just fill the cardboard sowing containers with yard dirt, to have greater concentration of any rhizobium nitrogen fixers that may be there?


Dear Lynn,

I know of no farmer or gardener who has ever used a rhizobium innoculum for peas or beans, and yet they were always able to grow them without problem, also in pots with compost or growing medium. Although it is possible for legumes to grow well 'enough' without forming a bacterial symbiosis, my guess is that in most circumstances this is not the case. You can check this by pulling out a legume plant and observing the roots: whitish nodules should be present on root hairs, and if they exude red-orange juice when squeezed this indicates rhizobia are present. To be safe you could indeed mix some good native garden soil into your compost mixture or raised beds, or whatever it is you plant & sow in. Good soil is a great inoculant, for all sorts of micro-organisms, and it doesn't cost anything! But as a former researcher in soil ecology I did notice the following: there are many more claims made by commercial companies selling the stuff than there are independent peer-reviewed studies on the success of various inoculants (mycorrhiza as well as rhizobia) in establishing these micro-organisms AND resulting in improves plant health and/or yield.. So my question is: has anybody ever tried just adding a rhizobium inoculant to HALF of whatever they were sowing or growing, and then compared results? It's not big science but I would definitely do this before considering purchasing something of this kind!!
 
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