• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Rhizomatic Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria

 
Sam Phillips
Posts: 18
Location: Tuscon, AZ
books forest garden greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi permies.com community. I have some questions about nitrogen fixing bacteria that inhabit the root nodules on legume trees. I've heard that the different species of bacteria are only compatible with certain legumes. I've also heard that legumes trees will not grow well and sometimes not be able to grow at all without the nitrogen fixing bacteria that they need for their specific partners symbiosis that the plant and bacteria have adapted to. My concern is that I'd like to bring in new species of legume not already growing in my area into my forest garden to increase biodiversity and I'm how, if I grow them from seed, will they grow well and have a high level of nitrogen fixation. Do your legume trees will form an association with existing soil bacteria? Do you bring in soil or a root nodule from a healthy plant containing a compatible nitrogen fixing bacteria species for that tree? Most of the data I've found online is for the compatibility of nitrogen fixing bacteria species and annual legume crops. I'm much more interested in legume tree crops. Do you know any resources addressing the species compatibility between legume trees and rhizome inhabiting nitrogen fixing bacteria species? I know there are a lot of questions here. I appreciate you taking the time to respond. Thank you.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2002
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are so many different strains of Rhizobium that it would be hard to give you any particular strain to use for inoculation of new trees.
This is mostly because researchers tend to give a strain an identifier that pertains to their research instead of creating a standard identity, something that happens fairly frequently I am sad to say.

The best bet for getting the compatible strain for each tree would be to dig up the tree you want and inspect it (and the still in the ground cut root system) for nodules that you could lift and take with you to the new site.
AT that point, you would simply plant the nodules along with the tree. This method would ensure that you had the correct Rhizobium strain for that particular tree species.

IF you can't find any nodules, then the next best bet would be to purchase a rhizobium mixture that was composed of many strains and use that to inoculate the soil as you plant the tree(s).

As a side bar, most all of the different strains of Rhizobium (around 2 to 5 thousand) can and will form symbiotic relations with both tree and annual legumes, these will not be as fully beneficial as the specific strain but they will help a lot.

 
Sam Phillips
Posts: 18
Location: Tuscon, AZ
books forest garden greening the desert
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was hoping there would be other solutions than that, especially when it comes to legume trees from other continents. I guess you just try to look for ones that have been naturalized near you. Or where you have friends who can send you a root nodule along with seeds in the mail. Thanks for the info. This would be a good situation to work toward changing in the scientific listings and commercial availability of starters.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2011
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
368
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't worry about bacteria... My farm is full of bacteria. I have hundreds of species of legumes growing nearby, and dozens of species grow in my fields as weeds. The surrounding wildlands are full of bacteria. Dust storms coat my farm with bacteria on a regular basis. The rain, and the irrigation water are full of bacteria. My equipment, shoes, and vehicles carry bacteria from field to field. Birds, mammals, and insects drop bacteria all over my farm. Chances are excellent that any legume I plant will form a relationship with some type of bacteria.

When I hear scare tactics as a marketing tool, I find them suspect... "If you don't buy our bacteria, your plants will suffer." is about as shallow a marketing ploy as I have ever heard.

 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2002
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
152
chicken dog forest garden hugelkultur hunting toxin-ectomy
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Our land is like yours Joseph, full of bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi, lots of other good things that make soil. We plant many different legumes and brassicas and it now doesn't matter where we plant, everything finds a helper bacteria and or fungi.

I too do not like the marketing ploys of many of the places that sell "inoculants".

One of the easiest methods to get many different bacteria going on your land is to use spent coffee grounds that you leave wet in a container, they will go through a bloom and then you just spread where you want.
 
When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't - Edison. Tiny ad:
2017 Homesteaders PDC (permaculture design course) & ATC (appropriate technology course) in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/61764/Homesteaders-PDC-permaculture-design-ATC
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!