Last summer there was a big news splash about nitrogen fixing bacteria on the roots of corn. Nice to see that the research has expanded to include other types of grasses, and other species of bacteria.
This confirms suspicions I've had for a long time that nature has many more ways of fixing nitrogen than we have realized. I mean, have we forgotten lightning?? Just keep piling up the mulch and the soil will get what it needs.
In my climate, for instance, we have termites. And they host nitrogen fixing bacteria in their gut. Feed them carbon, get nitrogen--how cool is that!
A lot of nitrogen fixing bacteria, both the free living kind and legume host needing kind, fix atmospheric nitrogen with an enzyme called nitrogenase. Nitrogenase needs molybdenum in the soil to function. Low levels of molybdenum can result on low nitrogen fixing with really no fault to the bacterium itself, even when in abundance. Often the bacteria are already there in the soil, and giving a little molybdenum boost to a depleted soil can really kick off some abundant nitrogen fixing.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
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